ROME/NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 25 – Over 150,000 women took to the streets in Rome to say “enough: stop violence against women”. Several initiatives and messages from political authority culminated in the scores of monuments lit up in orange, the color adopted by the United Nations to symbolize the international campaign to stop gender abuse.
Unless the international community tackles violence against women, the world will not eradicate poverty or reach any of the other Sustainable Development Goals, Secretary-General António Guterres said in his message today for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
“It is time to further our collective action to end violence against women and girls for good,” the Secretary-General said marking the Day, which on 25 November, highlights that around the world, more than 1 in 3 women in their lives have experienced physical violence, sexual violence, or both. The Day also spotlights the work of women’s rights activists, who are being targeted at “alarming levels”, and violence against women politicians, which hamper women’s rights.
“It is time for united action from all of us, so that women and girls around the world can live free from harassment, harmful practices, and all other forms of violence,” Mr. Guterres said.
Among other efforts, the UN launched a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment and has said that it is committed to continuing the ‘UNiTE to End Violence against Women’ Campaign, under the new title ‘UNiTE by 2030’. The UNiTE Campaign will mark this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, from 25 November through 10 December, under the theme Leave No One Behind: Ending Violence against Women and Girls”.
In Italy the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is launching a “virtual flash mob”: for 16 days the entire diplomatic network will raise the issue on its social networks. The Ministry of Defense lit in orange its barracks. In Rome the Barcaccia Fountain in Piazza di Spagna was lit in orange. Same for the statue of the Abduction of the Sabines in Piazza della Signoria in Florence.
The day was also the opportunity to symbolically adopt anti-violence legislation: a 7.5 millions fund in favor of the children orphaned by domestic violence was introduced among the measures included in the next spending law. (@OnuItalia)