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Orange the World – End Violence Against Women

Orange The World - End Violence Against Women At our July branch meeting this month, we welcomed Sue Burke from MK Act who gave us a great insight into the Orange the World Campaign to End Violence Against Women .

The Orange the World Campaign started back in 1991, is led by the United Nations and is marked every year on the 25 November, which is International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women.  It is followed by 16 Days of Activism and ends on Human Rights Day on 10 December.

The 16 Days of Activism raises awareness about violence against women and girls as a human rights issue, focusing on the importance of grassroots work on violence against women as well as providing an international platform for advocacy and campaigning. The dates for the campaign were chosen to link violence against women and human rights and emphasise that gender-based violence against women is a violation of human rights.

 The color orange symbolizes a brighter future, free of violence. It also serves as a means of demonstrating your solidarity in eliminating all forms of violence and it is therefore used as the color of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Buildings and organisations all over the world take part in this campaign every year, by lighting up orange in an act of solidarity for the campaign and as a public call to action. It is an opportunity to raise awareness at a local, national and international level about violence against women and girls.

Here in the UK, this campaign has been joined by the White Ribbon Campaign. The White Ribbon campaign engages with men and boys to end violence towards womenWhite Ribbon Day is 25 November and MK Council are looking to gain White Ribbon accreditation.  We know Bletchley and Fenny Stratford Town Council have gained this accreditation with the help and support of our previous Chair Amanda Carter Philpott Carter, who was passionate about this issue. To find out more about the White Ribbon campaign click here.

This year, the campaign is continuing its multi-year theme to Ending femicide.  What is Femicide.  According to the World Health Organisation “Femicide is generally understood to involve intentional murder of women because they are women, but broader definitions include any killings of women and girls”. Click here to learn more. And click here for a further informative website.

Last year SIGBI provided a toolkit for clubs to promote 16 Days of activism on their social media platforms, which covered the following issues:

International Day of Violence against women Violence against women with disabilities
Rape Child Marriages
Violence against Indigenous women and tribes International Volunteer Day for Economic & Social Development
Female Genital Mutilation Violence against Women Canada 1989 Massacre Anniversary
International Women Human Rights Defenders Day Discrimination against women in rural communities
Trafficking Sexual Exploitation
World Aids Day Sexual Harassment
Abolition of Slavery International Human Rights Day

SIGBI is keen to keep up the momentum each year and for clubs to take part and raise awareness.  SIGBI will be providing Soroptimist clubs with a social media toolkit to help promote the 16 days of Activism campaign.

Kay Richmond, SIGBI Programme Director’s August 2022 message  is“The Distance To Equal is not Long”.  It updates us on a recent UN report stating the world is not on track to achieve gender equality by 2030. We have all, wherever we live, experienced the effects of climate change in recent months.  This together with other global issues such as conflicts (e.g Ukraine, Syria, Yemen), Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) and other gender inequalities (e.g Widowhood) simply make our purpose of helping women and girls be the best they can be even more difficult to achieve.  But Soroptimists around the world can take action.  We need justice and equality for all women and girls in all our diversity. Now is the time for raising Awareness, Advocacy and taking Action – our 3 As to help implement our 3 Es (Educate, Enable, Empower).  To read the full article click here

We thanked Sue for a very informative presentation and after a discussion where we came up with a number of ideas it was agreed that we could do an array of awareness and promotion activities ourselves alongside the SIGBI social media toolkit.

Last year Soroptimist International St Albans sent out an Orange the World Information pack to schools, the local authority and other organisations within their area and were successful in getting a number of buildings to light up in orange.  Let’s hope we can do something similar here in Milton Keynes.  If anyone in Milton Keynes wants to help us raised awareness and ornage their building facilities, please get in contact.