ORANGE THE WORLD on NOVEMBER 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls

She was seating in a living room with her cigarette between her fingers. Waiting. Waiting for a phone call. From him. Phone finally rang. She jumped and quickly listened to the man on the other side: "Come and pick me up. I am here with my friends. We are all coming home. Fix some food and cold beers. "She took her car keys and drove to pick them all up. On her way she was trembling and shaking. "What will happen this time? Will he just beat me or are they preparing something new today ? "While the company was on their way to her home, every word she heard was like a knife to her heart. “Wife, today I have prepared something new for these men, my friends, my best friends … hmmm … I think it is time I share my wife with them. You will obey me and have sex with all of them.” She was trembling and scared. The only good thing was that she has sent her children to her mother and they were safe. At least tonight. She just wanted her life to end. How? Take pills? But there are not enough at home. She has no money for food. What if she steels some money from him? He will beat her. But at least her misery will end. Forever. Oh no, children. What will happen to her children? She has a little girl and a boy. She needs to survive and stay strong. For them. Tomorrow she will escape. Jane, tomorrow! Just make it through this night. Survive!

Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today remains largely unreported due to the impunity, silence, stigma and shame surrounding it. It manifests in physical, sexual and psychological forms: intimate partner violence (battering, psychological abuse, marital rape, femicide), sexual violence and harassment (rape, forced sexual acts, unwanted sexual advances, child sexual abuse, forced marriage, street harassment, stalking, cyber- harassment), human trafficking (slavery, sexual exploitation), female genital mutilation and child marriage.

While gender-based violence can happen to anyone, anywhere, some women and girls are particularly vulnerable - for instance, young girls and older women, women who identify as lesbian, migrants and refugees, indigenous women and ethnic minorities, or women and girls living with HIV and disabilities, and those living through humanitarian crises.

Alarming are following numbers:

• 1 in 3 women and girls experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, most frequently by an intimate partner,
• Only 52% of women married or in a union freely make their own decisions about sexual relations, contraceptive use and health care,
• Worldwide, almost 750 million women and girls alive today were married before their 18th birthday; while 200 million women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM),
• 1 in 2 women killed worldwide were killed by their partners or family in 2012; while only 1 out of 20 men were killed under similar circumstances,
• 71% of all human trafficking victims worldwide are women and girls, and 3 out of 4 of these women and girls are sexually exploited,
• Violence against women is as serious a cause of death and incapacity among women of reproductive age as cancer, and a greater cause of ill health than traffic accidents and malaria combined.

Jane eventually escaped and found a refuge at her parent’s house on the northern part of her country. Her husband was searching for her and was making her life miserable. But police was there to protect her. After more than a year of stalking and harrasment he gave up and left her alone. Police had to intervene more than twenty times. This story happened 20 years ago in a small European country. Jane’s story is a story of survival and strength. She survived.

What can we do to stop and prevent gender based violence? Violence against women and girls is rooted in gender-based discrimination and social norms and gender stereotypes that perpetuate such violence. Given the devastating effect violence has on women, efforts have mainly focused on responses and services for survivors. However, the best way to end violence against women and girls is to prevent it from happening in the first place by addressing its root and structural causes.

Prevention should start early in life, by educating and working with young boys and girls promoting respectful relationships and gender equality. While public policies and interventions often overlook this stage of life, it is a critical time when values and norms around gender equality are forged.

It also means making the home and public spaces safer for women and girls, ensuring women’s economic autonomy and security, and increasing women’s participation and decision-making powers—in the home and relationships, as well as in public life and politics. Working with men and boys helps accelerate progress in preventing and ending violence against women and girls. Awareness-raising and community mobilization, including through media and social media, is another important component of an effective prevention strategy.

Global Action: Orange the World

The 25th of every month has been designated as Orange Day by the UN Women campaign Say No, UNiTE launched in 2009 to mobilize civil society, activists, governments and the UN system. Participants the world over are encouraged to wear a touch of orange in solidarity with the cause - the colour symbolizes a brighter future and a world free from violence against women and girls.

Please, add following # and key words:
#HearMeToo #OrangeUrWorld #OrangeTheWorld #EndVAW #ADRA#women #happiness #support #SDG

Source: (Nov 25, 2018)