#OrangeDay — What’s it all about?

Thursday, August 25th, 2016 by Liz Kliewer

The 25th of every month is #orange day — promoting awareness and prevention of violence against women and girls.

Action Plan for Orange Day, 25 August 2016: Safe and secure working environments for women and girls
 
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“Break the silence. When you witness violence against women and girls, do not sit back. Act.”

~ Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General
 

The United Nations Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence Against Women has proclaimed the 25th day of each month as “Orange Day,” a day to raise awareness and take action to end violence against women and girls. As a bright 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.

 
We see this in Uganda with the way women and girls are treated by their family members, and society as a whole. While progress has been made in the past years, there are still many injustices and violence being perpetrated. Widows have been threatened with harm or death; some have survived being burned while they slept, others an attempt to collapse their house on them. Girls are often forced to marry young or be servants in the homes of their older siblings. We fight with them for justice, to change the perception that women and girls are a commodity, and to help them understand how loved they are despite what they have heard.
 
We encourage our widows to educate themselves and rise above their circumstances to take charge of their lives and learn a skill to support themselves. We send our young girls and women to school so they will be equipped to reach their goals and make a change in their country. We share the love of Jesus and teach how He views women and girls — beloved and worthy of acceptance.
 
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Violence against women and girls is a grave violation of human rights. Its impact ranges from immediate to long-term multiple physical, sexual and mental consequences for women and girls, including death. It negatively affects women’s general well-being and prevents women from fully participating in society. Violence not only has negative consequences for women but also their families, the community and the country at large. It has tremendous costs, from greater health care and legal expenses and losses in productivity, impacting national budgets and overall development.
 
Decades of mobilizing by civil society and women’s movements have put ending gender-based violence high on national and international agendas. An unprecedented number of countries have laws against domestic violence, sexual assault and other forms of violence. Challenges remain however in implementing these laws, limiting women and girls’ access to safety and justice. Not enough is done to prevent violence, and when it does occur, it often goes unpunished.
See more.

 
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So, what can we do to make a difference and effect change here and across the world?

 Orange your work place! As long as your employer agrees, wear orange to work or
university and encourage your colleagues to do the same to show your support for zero
tolerance of violence against women and girls in the work place.
 Find out what policies are in place at your work place or university. Do they fulfill the
recommendations in the Women’s Empowerment Principles? If there are gaps, what
steps can be taken?
 If you are in the business community, find out if your company supports the Women’s
Empowerment Principles!
 Learn from the Virtual Knowledge Centre to End Violence against Women’s guidelines on
drafting legislation on workplace sexual harassment, and share with policy makers
(http://www.unwomen.org/)

 
Read more about how YOU can help ROWAN with our education and training to break this cycle of violence against women and girls.
Help us educate our women & girls!

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