International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Sixteen Days of Activism against Gender Violence

Media Advisory: “Orange the World: #HearMeToo”: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Date: Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The official commemoration of the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November) will take place on Monday, 19 November 2018, at the Trusteeship Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York, from 10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.  

The commemoration will bring together survivors and activists under the theme of Orange the World: #HearMeToo, leveraging their voices and work on ending violence against women and girls.

Research shows that the pandemic of violence against women and girls affecting one in three women in their lifetime is not a recent phenomenon. Yet, in recent months we have reached a tipping point, in large part due to the determination and bravery of grassroots activists and survivors and global social media conversation such as “#MeToo”, “#TimesUp”, “#BalanceTonPorc” “#NiUnaMenos”, #MetooIndia and “HollaBack!”. At the same time, we are experiencing a concerted pushback against women’s rights, human rights defenders and a shrinking civic space that threatens the progress achieved so far. Both trends point to one reality: no country, no organization is immune to sexual harassment and violence, and women and girls from all corners of the world still experience gender-based violence and abuse.

During the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, an annual global campaign that runs from 25 November to 10 December, efforts will broaden that conversation and highlight the voices and activism of survivors of violence and advocates around the world—especially those who are often missing from the media headlines and social media discussions. It will showcase their stories, and their solutions.

Participants at the official commemoration will include:

  • António Guterres, UN Secretary-General
  • Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the General Assembly
  • Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women
  • Benjamin Tucker, First Deputy Commissioner, New York Police Department
  • Maureen Curtis, Vice President, Criminal Justice and Court Programs, Safe Horizon (USA)
  • Geetanjali Misra, Executive Director of CREA (India)
  • Ana Vasileva, Fight Like a Woman Collective (the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)
  • Daniela Elizabeth Giuliano, beneficiary of FUSA (Argentina)

The event will be moderated by Richard Lui of MSNBC and will showcase a special performance by the Angel Band Project’s choir, which aims to create awareness on the survivor’s journey and rights, and helps survivors cope with trauma, while regaining their confidence and their voice. It will also include a panel discussion in partnership with the NYPD Women’s Institute on, “The Role of Law Enforcement in Ending Violence against Women and Girls in Private and Public Spaces”.

The commemoration event will kick off the global 16 Days of Activism under the umbrella of the UN Secretary-General’s campaign, UNiTE to End Violence against Women.

This year, the 16 days of Activism will be a rallying moment to bring together governments, communities, activists and individuals to raise awareness on the urgent need to end violence against women and girls through high-profile events, rallies and campaigns around the world, standing in solidarity with survivors, advocates, the women’s movement and women’s human rights defenders. To draw global attention to the issue, iconic buildings and monuments will be lit up in orange, the official colour of the campaign, symbolizing hope and a violence-free world.

For interview requests, please contact media.team[at]unwomen.org.

The UN commemoration event is open to the media, UN press accreditation is required to attend. More information at: http://www.un.org/en/media/accreditation/

Live Webcast of the event will be available on UN Web TV and UN Women’s website. Follow the online conversation using the hashtags #HearMeToo, #orangetheworld and #16days, and follow @SayNO_UNiTE and @UN_Women on Twitter.

Check out the 16 Days editorial content at http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/end-violence-against-women [new content will be live on Friday, 16 November. Until then, this page features 2017 content]