Welcome to the United Nations. It's your world.

Campaign logoUN Secretary-General's campaign:
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, former 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.


Orange Day

girls, boys and women dressed in organge, raising fists

Orange Day in Colombia Photo credit IAT/Neil Palmer

Orange day September 2016

UNiTE Campaign Orange Day Action Plan: 25 September 2016
Violence Against Women and Access to Food


The United Nations Secretary-General’s Campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women has proclaimed the 25th of each and every month as “Orange Day,” a day to raise awareness of and take action to end violence against women and girls. As the bright and optimistic colour for the UNiTE Campaign, orange represents a future free from violence against women and girls. Orange Day calls upon activists, governments, and UN partners to mobilise people and highlight issues relevant to preventing and ending violence against women and girls, not only once a year on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November, but every month.

In 2016, a new global development agenda was adopted and ratified by every UN Member State. Through its 17 goals and 169 targets, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, an agenda for global action for the next 15 years, addresses the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social, and environmental. The Agenda recognises gender equality and the empowerment of women as a key priority and pledges that “no one will be left behind.” Goal 5 of the agenda aims to “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” and includes specific targets to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls. All goals are integrated and indivisible, therefore their achievement is also fully dependent on ensuring parallel and interconnected implementation to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls.

For this reason, throughout 2016 the UNiTE Campaign and its Orange Days will highlight specific Sustainable Development Goals as they relate to violence against women and girls. On the next Orange Day on 25 September, the UNiTE campaign will highlight Violence Against Women and Access to Food. 

Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture

Amongst other targets, Sustainable Development Goal 2 aims to end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations by 2030. Access to adequate food is a fundamental human right. Yet, in certain situation, women find themselves at heightened risk from violence in the pursuit of food for themselves or their families.  Women may be at particular risk where a lack of basic infrastructure such as lighting or transportation means that they have an unsafe journey to or from the shops or market.  In humanitarian emergencies, women living in camps or informal settlements may face violence as they fetch water or firewood, may be forced to offer sexual favours in exchange for food when food is scare, and in some situations, economically disadvantaged families marry off their underage daughters to have one less.

Some programs and projects:

In South Sudan, many women resort to collecting firewood outside of camps and accessing local milling plants to grind down the sorghum provided as grain, which in turn exposes them to increased risk of sexual assault. Part of the solution UN Women provided was to supply fuel efficient stoves to cut down on firewood trips and to provide groups of women with mills which grinds the grain sorghum.

In various countries WFP supports violence survivors during their temporary stay in safe shelters and afterwards, during their process of reintegration in the community. For example, in Darfur the WFP-sponsored SAFE initiative has provided fuel-efficient stoves to over 600,000 households and 180 schools, along with training on how to build stoves and briquettes, handicraft and food processing. The project aims at reducing households’ dependency on firewood collection and, consequently, women’s exposure to dangerous travels in the bush.

In Niger, Palestine, Madagascar and Iraq, WFP makes sure distribution sites are safe to access, especially for women. In Niger for example, WFP distribution sites are planned not be further than 5 km from the refugee site and pregnant and lactating women are identified and served first. In Palestine, where women are the predominant decision makers on the use of food and vouchers it was confirmed that receiving WFP food assistance directly in their communities, reduced the risk of human rights violations for Bedouin women and girls travelling far distances to buy food.

In Algeria, WFP ensures that 100% of the food entitlements are received by female heads of households. Monitoring activities include regular discussions with local authorities and different segments of the population through household visits, focus groups and key informant interviews. The UNHCR Accountability Framework for Age, Gender and Diversity Management is used to ensure beneficiary participation in project planning.

To reduce and prevent GBV in Uganda FAO – as part of a UN Joint Programme - integrates Gender Action Learning Systems (GALS), a household methodology within the J/FFLS to bring about win-win situations between women and men through joint decision making, intra-household power sharing and conflict resolution techniques.

In Burundi, DRC, Ghana, Niger and Senegal, the Dimitra Clubs are proving to be a successful approach to address gender discrimination and GBV. The Clubs provide a space for groups of rural women, men and young people to meet and discuss the challenges they face in their daily lives and take collective action to resolve their problems.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo men and women have opted for mixed clubs allowing for greater collaboration between the sexes. Together they have discussed sensitive topics such as early marriage, HIV/AIDs and sexual violence. During the time these Clubs have been operational more equitable gender roles have been observed, for example, young men can now be seen collecting firewood and water, tasks that were traditionally the responsibility of women and girls and more reports of rape have now been filed with local jurisdictions; rather than remaining silent women are coming forward.

Take action this Orange Day!

Useful resources


specifically: http://gbvguidelines.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/TAG-FSA-08_26_2015.pdf

See thematic area on food: http://www.iasc-elearning.org/

Social Media Messages


It's #OrangeDay! Wear orange & say NO to violence against women & girls http://bit.ly/1fXiNmW v @SayNO_UNiTE

This #OrangeDay, find out more how #VAW and food security are linked: http://bit.ly/1fXiNmW @SayNO_UNiTE

This #OrangeDay focuses on #globalgoals to protect and empower women and girls through access to food http://bit.ly/1fXiNmW @SayNO_UNiTE

Facebook 1
In 2016, #UNITE is focusing on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as it relates to ending violence against women and girls. This month we take a closer look at how violence against women and access to food are linked. Learn more.

Facebook 2
Despite the major role women play in producing food, little attention has been given to the numerous manifestations of negative and positive interconnectedness of gender violence and access to food, for examples: refugee women trading sex for food, widows being persecuted over land ownership and poor families marrying off their underage daughters during times of famine so there is one mouth less to feed. This #OrangeDay learn more about how access to food can help to prevent violence against women here.
Facebook 3
“If we go into the bush to collect firewood, we risk getting robbed or raped – all sorts of things,” Maria Nabinto, a refugee in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), told the World Food Programme (WFP) earlier this year. This #OrangeDay learn more about how access to food can help to prevent violence against women: http://bit.ly/1IiyAP1

Download the plan in pdf format here