UN: UN kicks up campaign to end violence against women

New York, US (PANA) - On Monday night, for the first time ever, both the iconic Empire State building and UN headquarters in New York will be bathed in orange light in celebration of UN-Women’s "Orange YOUR Neighbourhood" campaign ahead of the International Day to End Violence Against Women.

PANA in New York reports that UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, in a special pre-lighting ceremony at the Empire State building, said: "Together, we must end this global disgrace of violence against women."

He said: "It is up to everyone to play their part, women’s rights are not only women’s business. Men and boys are finally taking their place as partners in this battle."

Ban noted that, despite recent progress, violence continued to plague one billion women worldwide, saying: "That means that one in three women experiences physical or sexual violence at some point in her life – mostly by an intimate partner."

"This year alone, more than 200 girls have been kidnapped in Nigeria, and we have seen graphic testimony from Iraqi women of rape and sexual slavery during the conflict there.

"And here in the United States, there have been high-profile cases of sexual violence involving sports teams and on university campuses. But we know that many other cases go unreported and unpunished," the UN chief stressed.

Ban said: "This is outrageous, and it must stop", and called for an end to the "mindsets and traditions that encourage, ignore or tolerate violence".

Also speaking, Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), said that, among all women killed in 2012, nearly half died at the hands of a partner or family member, and far too often, crimes went unpunished and perpetrators walked free.

Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka said the campaign to end violence against women called on everyone around the world to display the colour orange to symbolize their commitment and hope for a safe future for all women.

She said: "People will tie orange ribbons on landmarks. Marchers dressed in orange will raise awareness and discuss community-wide solutions, we need this eye-catching colour everywhere so that the message is loud and clear: we all need to work together to stop violence against women and girls right now.

"That includes men and boys standing up for what is right and working with us and the women’s movement to tackle gender inequality. We have to end this universal violation of human rights."

The UN official said the good news was that momentum was growing as the world geared up in 2015 to mark the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action, as well as the end of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the framing of a bold new global development agenda.

"Together we must make 2015 the year that marks the beginning of the end of gender inequality. Now is the time for action," Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka added.

PANA reports that the event was attended by Ban's wife, Mrs. Yoo Soon-taek, American actress Ms.Teri Hatcher, and UN Wowm chief, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka, as well as other UN and New York City officials.

"Orange YOUR Neighbourhood", is part of the Secretary-General's campaign "UNiTE to End Violence against Women."

The theme will be carried through related events during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, which will run between 25 November and 10 December (Human Rights Day).

Also, the hashtags #Orangeurhood and #16days are being used to raise awareness on social media.
-0- PANA AA/MA 24Nov2014

24 november 2014 20:23:56

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