Orange The World : Say No to Violence Against Women & Children
Orange The World is a global campaign that calls for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and children.
The campaign runs from 25th November, International Day Against Violence Against Women to 10th December, International Human Rights Day, every year. The dates are purposely chosen for their significance. The 16 day period also highlights other important dates : International Women Human Rights Defenders Day on 29th November and World Aids Day on 1st December.
The 2020 narrative for this campaign places even more emphasis on the issue of violence against women and children. The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in lockdowns, job losses, food shortage, economic uncertainty; risk factors which contribute to the rise of cases of violence against women and children. As families try to deal with the stress of uncertainty and enhanced poverty, women and children are seen to be the most vulnerable, as they become victims of physical, sexual, psychological abuse. Civil rights organisations and NGOs have become the ‘other’ frontliners for women and children seeking protection and shelter.
Our Orange The World activities this year highlighted the different types of violence, so that women may be aware that they are, in fact, being abused, and be empowered to seek help. There was also a special session for the children (with their mothers present) on safe and unsafe touch.
The session for children focused on creating awareness about gender-based violence concentrating on the prevention from the OTW 2020 theme: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect. The session was done together with their mothers, there were 4 children and 2 mothers. 1 boy was also included in the activity to create awareness about GBV because it is believed that GBV can only be stopped when all genders work together to fight for it.
For the adults : video presentations of violence against women, explanations of the different types of abuse – physical, sexual, psychological – were followed by focused discussions on what they have learnt and what can be done moving forward.
Outline of the Women’s Program
Some of their sharing included :
“… respecting everyone in the family, teaching children about gender equality from young”
“do not hesitate to help neighbours or strangers if they are abused, providing them with all the support they need”
“be informed about where to get help when in need...”
They also shared that after sharing knowledge regarding GBV within family, the knowledge must be shared within the community so that in the National level there will be measures to make changes to the laws, some shared their hope to change the current law to give maximum punishment for child rapists. After National level, the focus must be moved to international level, advocating against GBV in international platforms, social media and creating documentaries.
At all sessions, information on support and helpline numbers were given out.
The ‘fun’ activity was painting their hands orange and stamping their palms on a poster to signify their fight against Violence Against Women.
The colour orange symbolizes a brighter future and a world free from violence against women and children. It’s a colour of hope. It also serves as a means of demonstrating your solidarity against all sorts of violence.