International Day to End Violence against Women – 25 NOV

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orange picture of women, one in wheelchair and one holding megaphone, both in front of mirror standing to stop violence against women

25 November marks the International Day to End Violence against Women, and the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence campaign. Since 1991, the campaign has brought together activists and organizations around the world to raise awareness and inspire actions.

This year’s theme for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!”.

Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!

As countries implemented lockdown measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus, violence against women, especially domestic violence, intensified – in some countries, calls to helplines have increased five-fold. 1 in 3 women and girls experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, most frequently by an intimate partner.

shadow pandemic violence against women during covid banner with shadow pictures of two women

The Shadow Pandemic: Violence Against Women during and post COVID-19

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, emerging data and reports from those on the front lines, have shown that all types of violence against women and girls, particularly domestic violence, has intensified.

This is the Shadow Pandemic growing amidst the COVID-19 crisis and we need a global collective effort to stop it. As COVID-19 cases continue to strain health services, essential services, such as domestic violence shelters and helplines, have reached capacity. More needs to be done to prioritize addressing violence against women in COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.

UN Women provides up-to-date information and support to vital programs to fight the Shadow Pandemic of violence against women during COVID-19.

The UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, a multi-year effort aimed at preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls, will focus on amplifying the call for global action to bridge funding gaps, ensure essential services for survivors of violence during the COVID-19 crisis, focus on prevention, and collection of data that can improve life-saving services for women and girls.

Today, although the voices of activists and survivors have reached a crescendo that cannot be silenced or ignored, ending violence against women will require more investment, leadership and action. It cannot be sidelined; it must be part of every country’s national response, especially during the unfolding COVID-19 crisis.

For the 16 Days of Activism, UN Women handed over the mic to survivors, activists and UN partners on the ground, to tell the story of what happened after COVID-19 hit. Read and share stories, get inspired by activists who are making a difference every single day, and find out how you can take action.

Several public events are being coordinated for this year’s International Day. Iconic buildings and landmarks will be ‘oranged’ to recall the need for a violence-free future.

Take Action: 10 ways You can help End Violence Against Women

back shadow image of woman wearing orange jacket saying BELIEVE SURVIVORSAs in 2020, COVID-19 touched our lives in nearly every way. As isolation began, reports of all forms of violence against women and girls, particularly domestic violence, began to rise. Ending violence against women is everyone’s business. Here are ten ways you can make a difference, safely and impactfully.

If you are organizing events and activities for the 16 Days of Activism, we want to hear about it! Post your actions on and don’t forget to Orange your day on 25 November.

Why do we mark International Days?

International days and weeks are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity.

The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. We also mark other UN observances.

Thank you for your activism to end violence against women and girls.

Sincerely, UN Women @ Team Celebration

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