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
“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.
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.
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
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
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!
Youth Leading Sustainability is the theme of International Youth Day 2016!
This year, #YouthDay focuses on the leading role of young people in achieving sustainable development through sustainable consumption and production. Be part of these efforts in achieving the #GlobalGoals and celebrate International Youth Day!
Learn more here.
“Young people are not only our future — they are our present. Our planet has never been so young, with 1.8 billion young women and men. They are the most connected, the most outspoken and the most open-minded generation the world has ever seen. They are powerful agents of positive change, essential to taking forward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It is not enough to hope for a better tomorrow — we must act now. Change is underway, and millions of citizens are already transforming the way we produce, consume, behave and communicate…
Optimism and confidence do not mean we minimize the challenges ahead. Most young people live today in least developed countries, and shoulder the heaviest burden of conflicts and poverty. There can be no sustainable development if they remain on the side-lines, and I call upon all Member States and UNESCO partners to support their initiatives, to give them voice, to let them grow, to shape together the future of dignity that we are building today.”
~Message from Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO
International Youth Day is on 12 August! Events to celebrate #YouthDay will take place all over the world and will recognize the importance of youth efforts, collaboration and participation in the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. (https://www.facebook.com/UN4Youth/)
ROWAN has always been focused on sustainability and educating and empowering individuals to support themselves and their families. We are in process of working to maintain staff salaries in a sustainable way and working towards goals to help our villagers provide for themselves. Currently, we even have one of our young people participating in training to teach sustainability in farming crops…which he will then share with the community. Educating our youth is a big part of this initiative — and how we equip them to be change agents in their country!
Won’t you pray with us and partner together in this mission to raise our youth to be leaders in sustainability? There are ways each and every person can get involved in promoting sustainability through consumption and production. Whether you are on your couch at home, or desire to change your community and the world through networking in your neighborhood, this has some great ideas to implement into your daily life!
So whatever avenue you choose, let’s celebrate International Youth Day together!
One more thing: share with us about a young person in your life who inspires you by commenting below.
Help us educate our youth!
Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. Less than $2 a day adds up over the years and eventually can lead to great success. Don’t underestimate the impact sponsorship can have on shaping young lives and empowering our students to succeed.
Mariam is our most recent graduate and her story is evidence of that success. She has been part of ROWAN since it officially began in 2008. She is an individual who is not afraid to speak her mind, and that started when she was young. In a culture where women do not have a strong voice, this was significant. ROWAN helped to cultivate her intelligence and confident spirit by giving her opportunities to hone these skills. Mariam always participated in ROWAN events and loved to emcee at parties and tell jokes to make people smile.
This led to a desire to pursue a degree in mass communication and journalism at Mutesa Royal University. She wants to make a difference in her nation, especially regarding speaking up for women. This past weekend she graduated with her bachelors degree and already has a job lined up at a radio station in Iganga (East Uganda). She is so thankful to her sponsor, her ROWAN family and caregiver Rebecca for supporting her and helping her to achieve her dreams.
We could not be more proud of Mariam and we know that God will use her voice to help young women just like her in the future!
Do YOU want to be a part of our success stories? There are other students waiting to be sponsored so they too can have the chance to reach their goals and effect become agents of change in their country.
ROWAN has created a Savings and Loans Association for local community members to learn how to save and empower their families! Training came from Care International in Uganda.