16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence: Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!

The UN System’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence activities, from November 25 to December 10 , will take place under 2020 global theme: "Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!"

As the world retreated inside homes due to the lockdown measures introduced to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, reports showed an alarming increase in the already existing pandemic of violence against women.

“Accompanying the crisis has been a spike in domestic violence reporting, at exactly the time that services, including rule of law, health and shelters, are being diverted to address the pandemic,” stated the UN Secretary-General's report, “Shared Responsibility, Global Solidarity: Responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19". 

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day. It was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and continues to be coordinated each year by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. It is used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

In the conditions of lockdown measures and physical distancing, the virtual world has become the main arena of social interactions and engagement. Now, more than ever, individual activism has shifted in the space of social media and online platforms. Embracing the new reality as it’s shaping during the pandemic crisis, and with the objective to mark the UN presence in the virtual space, the 2020 UNiTE campaign is focused on establishing links between social media activism and impact on communities in the real world. More concretely, this year’s focus is on connecting awareness raising and advocacy with fundraising results, in an effort to translate UN-system campaigning efforts into concrete demand for action resulting in tangible results for the benefit of those in need: women and girls survivors of violence.

The 2020 UNiTE activities, with the focus on social media engagement will call actors at different levels to act upon the SG’s Political Engagement Strategy and publicly announce their actions, commitments, pledges by “oranging” their public profiles on websites, social and other media.

The Secretary-General’s UNiTE Campaign to End Violence against Women (UNiTE Campaign) calls on everyone, from individuals to the private sector, to come together and take action to support survivors and share information to prevent and end violence against women and girls during this unprecedented time. 

Tu Anh