UN WOMEN and Youth in Uganda celebrate ‘Orange Day’ 25th July 2015 by committing to prevent violence against women and girls

Date: Thursday, July 30, 2015

Photo credit UN Women
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 on 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. This month, the campaign focuses on the voices of one particular group whose efforts a vital in eliminating violence against women and girls; the theme for July is “Orange our Future” Engaging youth to prevent and end violence against women and girls.”

With the aim of increased visibility of the youth’s voice on a future free from violence against women and girls, UN Women came together with Let Girls Lead, Rhythm of Life, the Uganda Youth Network, Salama Shield Foundation, and the Young Leaders Think Tank for Policy Alternatives to celebrate July’s Orange Day. The youth were invited to share a message to be uploaded to UN Women and UNiTE Campaign social media accounts as to how they commit to preventing violence against women and girls and how the youth can mobilise to end such violence. On Thursday 23rd July, UN Women, Uganda Youth Network and Salama Shield Foundation celebrated Orange Day with a group of 30 youth in the Lyantonde Community Development Centre, with participants ranging in ages from 18-29.The youth engaged in group discussion on their understanding of the term ‘violence against women and girls’, what forms exist in Uganda, why such violence is perpetrated, and how the youth can mobilise to prevent violence against women and girls. Decorated in bright t-shirts of the campaign’s colour – orange; the youth made personal commitments on how they will prevent violence against women in their communities by spreading awareness and celebrating future ‘Orange Days’ in Lyantonde district.

On Friday 24th July UN Women, Let Girls Lead and Rhythm of Life interviewed four female youth ranging in ages from 12-19.  These youth are recognized ‘Girl Leaders’ in their communities.  The girls were given the opportunity to transmit a message on violence against women and girls to the international community:  “I commit to preventing violence against women by being a voice for the voiceless”, stated Noleen (12 years). UN Women captured the voice of the Young Leaders Think Tank for Policy Alternatives, an initiative of the Konrad- Adenauer-Stiftung to enhance youth participation in governance and policy formulation in Uganda, on Saturday 25th July. The Think Tank is a group of 20 highly qualified and committed young Ugandans who interact and work together on a regular basis in order to analyse policy issues and develop policy alternatives from the perspective of the young generation. Emmanuel, 31 made a personal commitment to starting the fight to end violence against women and girls in his own home: “I have a wife, I have a daughter, and I think the campaign to end violence against women and girls, starts with me - at home. I should be able to treat my wife and my daughter with the respect that they deserve.”

Learn more about how young people can be powerful agents of change leading efforts to prevent and end violence against women and girls on Facebook and Twitter hashtags #OrangeDay and #OrangeOurFuture.