The world went orange: Putting a spotlight on ending violence against women


A photo essay from UN Women

Every year, from 25 November to 10 December, activists around the world campaign to end violence against women, as part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. The international campaign has its roots in the feminist movement, and started at the Center for Women’s Global Leadership, Rutgers University, USA, in 1991.

1. In Italy, the Montecitori Palace, which serves as the seat of Italian Chamber of Deputies glowed in orange light.

Kicking off on the International Day to end violence against women (25 November) and concluding on the International Day of Human Rights (10 December), the campaign shows violence against women is a human rights violation. This year, the UN marked the 16 Days of Activism by bringing together leaders, activists and communities around the world under the theme, “Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands against Rape”, calling for an end to rape and rape culture. Orange is the colour of the United Nations campaign on ending violence against women, led by the UN Secretary-General.

From orange billboards in Times Square, New York, to arenas in Colombia and federal buildings in Austria lit in orange light, events in Mozambique and street campaigns in Serbia, people from all walks of life took a stand against rape culture, sparked public dialogues and listened to survivors.

Take a look at some of our favourite moments from the #16days.

2. [In Albania], students, civil society and media representatives are marching at the main square of the city of Elbasan on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Photo: Woman Forum Elbasan/Andi Allko.

3. In Alexandria, [Egypt], UN Women in partnership with the National Council for Women and Bibliotheca Alexandrina commemorated the 16 days of activism at Bibliotheca Alexandrina, where library staff and guests stood on its steps and lit the building in orange. Photo: UN Women/ Haleem Elshaarani.

4. In Kosovo, the “Pjeter Bogdani” was lit in orange to spread awareness of the 16 Days of Activism and the need to eliminate violence against women. .#16Days #OrangetheWorld #endrape

5. In Chongoene district in southern Mozambique, three generations from one community performed a dance to open the commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and 16 Days of Activism. The event included drumming, the recitation of poems, a play and a discussion on violence against women. Photo: Leovigildo Nhampule.

6. In Serbia, UN Women launched a street campaign to raise awareness about the prevalence of gender-based violence by branding public buses in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Nis and Kragujevac with messages and key statistics on violence against women. Other bustling parts of these cities were decorated with posters and videos. Photo: UN Women/Nemanja Jovanovic

7. In Uganda, 500 Boda drivers took part to the @GlobalSpotlight-supported Safe Boda ride during the #16days of activism against gender-based violence!

8. In New York, audience members in orange scarves applaud panel speaker Ajna Jusic during the official UN commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women that took place on 25 November in the ECOSOC chamber of UN Headquarters. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown.

Questions related to this article:

Does the UN advance equality for women?

Prospects for progress in women’s equality, what are the short and long term prospects?

9. In Dubai, UAE, watch the world’s tallest building @burjkhalifa turn orange tonight in support of #OrangetheWorld. #UAE continues to champion #women’s rights and advocates their advancement in all sectors.#16Days#GenerationEquality @UN_Women @DXBMediaOffice @UN_UAE @WAMNEWS_ENG

10. Women,men, activists, leaders, non-governmental organizations came together in Ecuador took part in the “Live We Want” March to call for urgent action to end violence against women and girls. Photo: UN Women/Johis Alarcon.

11. Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the President of India, was lit in orange as the 16 Days of Activism closed to echo the call for an end to rape and sexual violence. @rashtrapatibhvn

12. In Brussels, the Berlaymont Building, which serves as the headquarters of the European Commission, was lit in orange to emphasize the European Commission’s commitment to ending all forms of violence against women.

13. The University of Amsterdam’s Roeterseiland Campus lit up orange in honour of 16 Days of Activism campaign to stop violence against girls and women. The University also hosted lectures, workshops and other events to increase conversation on the topic.

14. In Janakpur, Nepal, more than 400 cyclists came together to mark the 16 Days of Activism and participate in a morning bike tour to raise awareness and show support to the survivors of violence against women. @unwomennepal

15. Movistar Arena, the most important and modern indoor event arena in Bogotá [Colombia], lighted up in orange to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Photo: UN Women/Juan Camilo Arias

16. For the first time the Federal Chancellery of the Republic of Austria supported the #Orangetheworld campaign. Photo: BKMC/Eugenie Sophie

17. UN Women #Senegal marched alongside civil society organizations – scouts, hiking association, youth associations – to say STOP to violence against women and girls. #OrangeTheWorld #GenerationEquality #EnoughIsEnough