‘Cycling for Orange Day in Viet Nam. Photo: UN Women/Thao Hoang
Engaging Sport Communities and Addressing Violence
against Women and Girls in Sport
In July 2012 the Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign proclaimed every 25th of the month as Orange Day. Initiated and led by the UNiTE campaign’s Global Youth Network, worldwide activities implemented on this day by UN country offices and civil society organizations strive to highlight issues relevant to preventing and ending violence against women and girls, not only once a year, on 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women), but every month.
In 2013, the UNiTE campaign focused its Orange Days on highlighting recommendations of the agreed conclusions of the 57th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW57), focused on the theme of the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls. Orange Day highlighted issues including safe schools, safe work places and cyber space as a safe space for women and girls. Activities culminated in a call to ‘Orange the World in 16 Days’ from November 25 and throughout the 16 Days of Activism. The Call resulted in ‘orange activities’ in over 50 countries and over 76 million people being reached through social media.
In 2014, Orange Day continues to spark actions around the world on specific themes and issues towards ending all forms of violence against women and girls. This month, UNiTE #OrangeDay will focus on engaging sport communities and addressing gender-based violence in sport.
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND SPORT
Sport has tremendous potential, and has been used to great effect, as a medium to influence social norms, change, and convey messages that violence against women and girls can never be tolerated. It is a particularly effective vehicle through which to reach out to men and boys; sport players are often role models with a wide audience due to their appeal and public profile. They may be able to reach out to other men and boys in environments in which they are comfortable, using language they understand. Sports federations and athletes have been active supporters of the UNiTE campaign, such as, most recently, the World Muaythai Council (WMC) and the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur (IFMA), which have formed a partnership with the campaign to engage and build the skills of young people, athletes and trainers within the sport to challenge harmful masculinities and foster respectful and non-violent relationships.
Sporting events, such as the 2014 FIFA World Cup, provide a significant opportunity to highlight the issue of violence against women and girls. For example, in Brazil, the UNiTE campaign is bringing together UN agencies to provide information to soccer fans during World Cup Games on rights, public services, and how to end violence against women to stimulate a change in male behaviors and attitudes, emphasizing the responsibility of men in ending violence against women and girls. As part of the UNiTE campaign initiative “O Valente não é Violento” (the Brave is Not Violent), one million stickers are being distributed in host cities with messages about the need to end violence against women and girls. UN Women has also used the opportunity to launch a new smartphone app in Brazil that provides information for women who’ve faced violence. Read more.
Sport also provides a platform for women and girls to learn leadership skills, build confidence, increase their involvement and elevate their status in the community, and can provide marginalized groups of women and girls with a safe place to gather, share their experiences and learn about their rights and access to support services. Organizations such as Grassroots Soccer, a grantee of the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, and Women Win, implement projects that utilize sport to foster empowerment, expand girls’ awareness of their rights, and develop leadership skills.
Violence against women and girls also takes place in sporting environments. Sport-related violence against women and girls occurs in a range of settings, including homes, pubs, night clubs, hotel rooms, the street and other public spaces, and is perpetrated by both male athletes and fans, consumers of sport and sporting events, and by coaches of female athletes. In some countries, police have taken special measures to protect against a possible rise in domestic violence in the aftermath of matches at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Sports clubs, and others involved with sports can play a role in addressing violence against women by ensuring that the appropriate policies and procedures are in place to ensure a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for all.
ORANGE DAY ACTIVITIES (25th June 2014)
This Orange Day, the UNiTE campaign will focus on engaging sport communities and addressing violence against women and girls in sport.
What can you do?
Show your support. Organize a sport event, competition, or a football match dedicated to violence against women and girls.
Take photos of yourself and your teammates celebrating Orange Day at your sports club or on the sports field, and share them on Twitter or Facebook, using the hashtag #OrangeDay.
Talk about the issue at your sports club. Find out if your club has organizational policies and procedures to ensure a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for women and girls.
SAMPLE SOCIAL MEDIA MESSAGES
25June is #OrangeDay! During #WorldCup, #UNiTE calls on sports clubs &players to support ending #VAW! http://ow.ly/x2QGP @SayNO_UNiTE
Does your sports club have a zero-tolerance policy towards #VAW? Find out! http://ow.ly/x2QGP via @SayNO_UNiTE #OrangeDay
Today is #OrangeDay! With #WorldCup happening, wear orange to play sport& ask ur teammates to join you. http://ow.ly/x2QGP @SayNO_UNiTE
On 25June, #OrangeDay,organize a sports match&wear orange to show ur support4 #UNiTE campaign 2end #VAW! http://ow.ly/x2QGP @SayNO_UNiTE
Check out this app created for #WorldCup: ending #violenceagainstwomen is the goal! http://owl.li/y22y8 http://pic.twitter.com/j9zAFeRKA6 #OrangeDay
#UNiTE message for the #WorldCup in #Brazil: "O Valente não é Violento", the brave is not violent. Watch: http://owl.li/ycJzn #OrangeDay
Today – 25 June – is #OrangeDay! This month, the UNiTE campaign calls on sports players, federations, coaches and clubs to support efforts to end violence against women and girls, and ensure sport environments are safe spaces for women and girls. http://ow.ly/x2QGP via[@SayNO.UNiTE]
This #OrangeDay – June 25th – and during the #World Cup, organize a sports match and dedicate it to raising awareness of violence against women and girls. Wear orange and ask your teammates to join you. Share your orange photos on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #OrangeDay! http://ow.ly/x2QGP via[@SayNO.UNiTE]
On #OrangeDay, 25 June, the #UNiTE campaign calls on sports clubs to take action to end violence against women and girls. Start a conversation in your sports club about how to make the club environment safe and supportive for women and girls. Take action! http://ow.ly/x2QGP
There is one universal truth, applicable to all countries, cultures and communities: violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable.
SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON