Let’s “Orange the World” to Eliminate Violence

By Holly Rosen Fink

November 23, 2016

This day exists year after year because the issue of women and young girls suffering globally from acts of violence unfortunately continues to grow.

The staggering numbers:

  • 35% of women and girls globally, experience some form of physical and or sexual violence in their lifetime, with up to seven in ten women facing this abuse in some countries.
  • An estimated 133 million girls and women have experienced some form of female genital mutilation/cutting in the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where the harmful practice is most common.
  • Worldwide, more than 700 million women alive today were married as children, 250 million of whom were married before the age of 15. Girls who marry before the age of 18 are less likely to complete their education and more likely to experience domestic violence and complications in childbirth.


To combat these odds, the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign  has planned “Orange the world,” using the colour orange to symbolize a brighter future without violence, culminating on December 10th, or Human Rights Day.  

One of the major challenges to efforts to prevent and end violence against women and girls worldwide is a huge funding shortfall,  therefore this year the campaign will emphasize the need for greater resource mobilization. Frameworks such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes a specific target on ending violence against women, offer huge promise, but must be adequately funded if they are to result in significant changes in the lives of women and girls.


These 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence aim to raise public awareness and mobilize people everywhere to bring about change, and it’s quite easy to take part. This year there will be events in more than 40 countries, including lighting buildings in orange where people will show their support wearing orange during the campaign, organizing events to orange streets, schools and landmarks, holding parades, putting orange balloons in classrooms along with age-appropriate discussions, fundraising efforts and more.

Together, we can make a difference and prevent violence against women and young girls.

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