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United to end the violence against women
. Ban Ki-moon
"Break the silence. When you witness violence against women and girls, do not sit back. Act."
Ban Ki-moon, Secretary - General

Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon
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

Orange Day

Photo Credit UNFPA

Orange Your Hood, Laos: Fifty boys and girls of various ages participated in a UNiTE flash mob at the National University of Lao, Dong Dok campus on 4 December 2014 in a collaboration with UN Women, UNFPA, NCAW, NUOL, Fanglao and Hoppin.

Photo credit: UN Women Laos / Daniel Hodgson

Orange our Future: Engaging youth to prevent and end violence against women and girls | Orange Day, 25th July 2015

The United Nations Secretary-General’s Campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women has proclaimed the 25th of each month as ‘Orange Day’, a day to raise awareness and take action against violence against women and girls. As a bright and optimistic colour, orange represents a future free from violence against women and girls, for the UNiTE Campaign. Orange Day calls upon activists, governments and UN partners to mobilize people and highlight issues relevant to preventing and ending violence against women and girls, not only once a year, on 25 November (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women), but every month. This month, the UNiTE campaign highlights the role of one particular group whose efforts are vital if a future free from violence against women and girls is to become a reality; the theme of action for 25 July, Orange Day, is “Orange our Future: Engaging youth to prevent and end violence against women and girls.”

YOUTH AS AGENTS OF CHANGE TO PREVENT AND END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS

In a world that’s younger than ever before, with 1.8 billion people below the age of 24, and some 900 million of them adolescent girls and young women, young people are critical stakeholders in efforts to prevent and end violence against women and girls. As current and future leaders, young people are a driving force for change and can use their knowledge, power and passion to challenge negative attitudes, gender stereotypes and behaviour that set in early and lead to violence.

Young people are also addressed as key partners in education and prevention strategies. Violence against women and girls, rooted in gender inequality and discrimination, starts early. The best way to end violence against women and girls is by stopping it happening in the first place, and effective prevention strategies must engage young people as leaders and participants. Initiatives to prevent violence against women and girls must start early in life, by educating and working with boys and girls, and young men and young women, to promote respectful relationships and gender equality.

It is crucial that youth are actively engaged and their voices heard in the development of strategies, policies and initiatives to prevent and end violence against women and girls. 2015 represents a pivotal opportunity to reposition the issue of violence against women and girls and impact upon future development efforts, as world leaders will come together in September to adopt a new framework for international development, the Sustainable Development Goals, which are expected to address gender equality and empowerment and violence against women and girls. Now more than ever, it is vital that youth voices are clearly heard as part of this process and are prominent in discussions to shape the new agenda.

UNiTE CAMPAIGN INITIATVES TO EMPOWER YOUTH IN EFFORTS TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS

The UNiTE campaign recognizes adolescents and youth as key partners and has engaged them in campaign activities around the world:

  • Orange Day itself, now recognized as an official date in the United Nations calendar and marked each month by activists all over the world, was born out of the creativity and energy of the UNiTE Campaign’s Global Youth Network, a group of young activists who came together in May 2012, at the Global UNiTE Youth Forum to share their experiences, ideas and unique approaches to ending the global pandemic of violence against women and girls. Since the Forum, at which the network was established and agreed a declaration of intent to claim and build a better world, network members continue to make a contribution to the issue through activism in their own countries and communities.
  • In the Asia-Pacific region, the UNiTE campaign and Asia-Pacific regional members of the UNiTE Global Youth Network created the Changemaker’s Toolkit, a resource to help young activists facilitate discussions on gender equality, violence against women and girls, healthy relationships and positive activism. Use of the toolkit is now being rolled out throughout the region.
  • In Latin America, youth-targeted initiatives such as ‘El Valiente No Es Violencia’, a joint communications campaign with MTV, has gained momentum to establish zero tolerance to violence against women.
  • In Africa the Moraba Games, a mobile phone-based device is a free game for mobile phones designed to educate South Africa’s township youth on gender-based violence developed by The Afroes Foundation for the UNiTE Campaign and UN Women is taking campaign messages to youths in many schools in Southern Africa.
  • In Europe, sport has been used as a vehicle to engage youth and change entrenched attitudes on gender equality in a number of countries including Tajikistan, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan.
  • Young people have been critical partners for UNiTE campaign’s online activism around the world.

THE UN TRUST FUND: SUPPORTING INITIATIVES TO ENGAGE YOUTH IN EFFORTS TO PREVENT AND END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS

The United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UN Trust Fund), a leading global grant-making mechanism exclusively dedicated to addressing violence against women and girls in all its forms, supports a wide range of innovative campaigns and programmes that engage and support youth. It is currently investing more than US$9 million to support 18 grants that address violence against young and adolescent girls. Key focus areas include supporting girls in and outside school settings, raising awareness of girls’ rights among boys and girls, empowering girls through sports, leadership and capacity-building, and sensitizing teachers and administrators to issues of violence, with innovative grantees including:

  • Sports-based programs like those run by GrassRoot Soccer in South Africa to foster girls’ empowerment, expand their awareness of sexual and reproductive health and increase access to medical, legal and psychosocial services;
  • Peer-led education and training programmes like those created by Restless Development in Nepal to deliver innovative gender violence education to adolescents and youth;
  • School-based prevention programmes such as that being implemented by Plan Viet Nam, which has trained nearly 500 teachers to build their perspectives on gender and violence, providing them with skills and resources needed to prevent and respond to violence in their schools; and
  • Initiatives that break the cycle of inter-generational transmission of violence, including a cross regional programme by Promundo in conflict-affected areas.

VOICES AGAINST VIOLENCE: A PROGRAMMING TOOL TO PREVENT AND END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

The education sector represents a key entry point for combating violence against women and promoting youth leadership on the issue. Non-formal education is particularly powerful in this context— it promotes life-long learning and skills development, prepares young people for global citizenship, and can reach young people both in and out of school settings, as well as young adults. Recognizing this, UN Women and the World Association for Girl Guides and Girls Scouts (WAGGGS) have jointly developed Voices against Violence, a non-formal curriculum for children and young people aged 5 – 25 years, to break gender stereotypes, challenge harmful social norms, and build youth capacity and leadership to prevent violence against women and girls.

Available in English, French and Spanish, Voices against Violence is a co-educational curriculum and a programming tool, which can be adapted to national and local contexts, and delivered in schools or within communities. Through age-appropriate non-formal educational activities, participants learn about violence against women and girls as a human rights violation, identify the root causes and engage their peers and communities in prevention efforts.

The programme is estimated to train 3000 trainers and youth leaders and reach 800,000 children and young people by the end of 2016. While initially the project scope included 12 countries – Brazil, Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malawi, Nigeria, the Philippines, Rwanda, the United States and Zambia— it has grown to accommodate 18 others, including Barbados, Central African Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Fiji, Grenada, Italy, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Malaysia, Portugal, Slovenia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Togo, Tunisia and Yemen.

For more information on how to access this resource, visit http://www.unwomen.org/en/digital-library/publications/2013/10/voices-against-violence-curriculum; and http://ow.ly/ORdSw

ORANGE DAY ACTIVITIES

Young people:

Educators, youth organizations:

  • Find out about UN Women and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts’ joint curriculum programme for young people to stop violence against women and girls, Voices against Violence. Interested in running the programme or learning more? Please contact urjasi.rudra@unwomen.org and stoptheviolence@wagggs.org.
  • Start a conversation with your students and constituents about how youth activism can contribute to the realization of a future free from violence against women and girls. Talk to your students about the Sustainable Development Goals and the opportunity they represent for youth to become engaged in the international effort to end violence against women and girls.

USEFUL RESOURCES

SAMPLE SOCIAL MEDIA MESSAGES

Twitter
  • On #OrangeDay we're asking youth: what does a future free from #VAW mean to you? http://ow.ly/ORdug via @SayNO_UNiTE
  • On #OrangeDay 25 July #UNiTE is focusing on #youth leadership in ending #VAW http://ow.ly/ORdug via @SayNO_UNiTE
  • Happy #OrangeDay! #Youth are a powerful force to help end #violenceagainstwomen & girls http://ow.ly/ORdug via @SayNO_UNiTE
  • How can #youth end #VAW? Check out programmes & resources from #UNiTE #OrangeDay: http://ow.ly/ORdug #VoicesagainstViolence
  • Must engage #youth to end #VAW. Use #VoicesagainstViolence programme by @wagggs_world & @UN_Women http://ow.ly/ORcUZ #OrangeDay
  • Calling on youth: What does ending violence against women & girls mean to you? http://ow.ly/PiDMU #OrangeDay
  • @SayNO_UNiTE asks youth: What does ending violence against women & girls mean to you? http://ow.ly/PiDMU #OrangeDay
Facebook
  • Happy #OrangeDay! This month’s Orange Day theme is ‘Youth in Action – Orange our Future: a future free from violence against women and girls’. The adoption of a new global development agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals, offers opportunities to empower young people to be positive agents for change in efforts to prevent and end violence against women and girls. Learn more about how you can join the conversation: http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/take-action
  • The UNiTE campaign has declared the 25th of each month as #OrangeDay – a day of action to end all forms of violence against women and girls. This month we are highlighting the important role of youth in realizing a future free from violence against women and girls. From supporting networks of young change makers to providing education and training for youth, there are many ways to empower young people to be a driving force in ending violence against women and girls. Learn more here: http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/take-action
  • On 25 July, #OrangeDay, #UNiTE campaign is calling for youth action to prevent and end #violenceagainstwomen. Non-formal education is a powerful tool for preventing violence against women and girls, challenging harmful social norms and rejecting discriminatory attitudes. Learn about the #VoicesagainstViolence programme and how you can engage youth using this unique curriculum and many other resources! http://ow.ly/ORdug