Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

#Orangetheworld for victims of violence

25/11/2020 - 19:15
News stories

Gender equality and women empowerment are high on the agenda today. A newly adopted EU Gender Action Plan pushing for progress towards gender equality opened the day, with a series of gender related activities. To mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the day will end in orange as we illuminate the EU buildings in solidarity with victims of violence, particularly during this year when this Shadow Pandemic is growing amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Then we kick off #16DaysOfActivism telling the stories of inspiring women and girls across the globe, who thrived in difficult environments.

“Violence against women and girls is a violation of human rights, and has no place in the European Union, or anywhere else in the world,” High Representative/Vice-President, Josep Borrell together with European Commission, stressed in an EU statement on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today and remains largely unreported due to the impunity, silence, stigma and shame surrounding it.

In general terms, it manifests itself in physical, sexual and psychological forms, encompassing:

  • intimate partner violence (battering, psychological abuse, marital rape, femicide);
  • sexual violence and harassment (rape, forced sexual acts, unwanted sexual advances, child sexual abuse, forced marriage, street harassment, stalking, cyber- harassment);
  • human trafficking (slavery, sexual exploitation);
  • female genital mutilation; and
  • child marriage.

Violence against women and children has increased since COVID-19 lockdown measures started. The EU is committed to continue to work tirelessly with its partners to fight this shadow pandemic and investigate and punish acts of violence, ensure support for victims, and address root causes.

Through Spotlight Initiative, the EU together with the UN, is already fighting violence against women and girls, in 26 countries across the globe. The new action plan on gender equality and women and girl's empowerment in external actions also addresses this issue.

“Our goal is very clear: to end all forms of violence against women and girls. We owe it to all the victims”, the EU statement concluded.


#Orangetheworld and 16 Days of women empowerment

In support and in parallel with UN Women’s #Orangetheworld campaign and #16DaysofActivism against Gender-Based Violence, today the EU shine an orange light on its buildings.

This kick offs a series of 16 days of testimonies from women around the world who have suffered and struggled to turn difficult life circumstances into positive experiences. The EU’s support has been instrumental for some of these women, but the new Gender Action Plan aims to do much more to achieve more transformation, and many more role models that will live to tell their stories too.


Click on the image and stay tuned for more on our social media accounts.gender equality, women empowerment


What more can YOU do? Take action!

Here are just ten ways you can help end violence against women, even during a pandemic:

  1. Listen to and believe survivors
  2. Teach the next generation and learn from them
  3. Call for responses and services fit for purpose
  4. Understand consent
  5. Learn the signs of abuse and how you can help
  6. Start a conversation
  7. Stand against rape culture
  8. Fund women’s organisations
  9. Hold each other accountable
  10. Know the data and demand more of it

Learn more about these 10 ways to make a difference, safely and impactfully