End Violence against Women and Girls: A Message from UN Women, and WE-Change’s Orange Lights

We must remind ourselves: Violence against women and girls is a persistent problem, and not only for small developing countries like Jamaica. Below is a message from the Executive Director of UN Women (who was in Jamaica very recently) encouraging the global news media in particular to recognize and highlight International Day to End Violence Against Women. This year, it falls on the day before Local Government Elections in Jamaica; and with orange being the color of one of our main political parties, the use of that particular color to recognize the day will be problematic and confusing. However, I hope that next year our color will be “in sync” with the rest of the world.

Please do whatever you can (this is not just one day, but 16 days of activism, ending on Human Rights Day, December 10). Please stay tuned for more information and events. One very special ORANGE event I can tell you about will take place on Sunday, December 4 at 6:00 p.m. at the Grog Shoppe, Devon House. The first staging, by the way, was memorable and beautifully done. Here is more information:

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WE-Change & UN Women will host the 2nd staging of #OrangeLights – a poetry reading, storytelling event featuring soulful, empowering music, red wine and lights.
#OrangeLights aims to raise awareness about Violence Against Women and the impact it has on women, families, communities and the nation. The event places women affected by violence at the centre of advocacy towards reducing and eliminating VAW.
You may need some Kleenex, but WE promise you, that it will be worth it. This is for all of us.
Join us at Devon House by Grog Shoppe, in an orange-lit, cosy outdoor space. Dress comfortably, and bring bean bags if you have them:)
Light refreshment & wine will be provided for you.
WE are asking you for a small contribution of $500 to support our outreach activities for 2017, including our outreach to Mary’s Child Home for Girls. You may contribute more than $500 if you are so moved. Contributions will be accepted at the venue on the night of the event. If you would like to make a contribution but you are unable to attend, you may email us at wechangeja@gmail.com to make arrangements to do so. You must RSVP here.
Here’s to Healing & Sisterhood
Keep the #OrangeLights hashtag alive until WE see you on December 4!

Message from Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women:

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

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Dear editors, reporters, anchors of news organizations, bloggers:

I am writing to you with a personal invitation from UN Women. On 25 November, the United Nations and civil society commemorate the International Day to End Violence Against Women. That same day, we kick off 16 days of global activism, until 10 December, to halt this gross violation of women’s human rights that affects at least 1 in 3 women and girls globally. It is a pandemic that we must stop. To do so, we need everyone’s help.

The global initiative is led by UN Women on behalf of the UN Secretary-General’s global campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women. The colour orange has been chosen for the issue to symbolize a brighter future without violence against women. During the 16 days of activism, events are being organized in all parts of the world.

This year, from the Mayor’s Gracie Mansion and City Hall in New York City to the European Commission Headquarters Building in Belgium and the Parliament building in Uganda, buildings and landmarks around the world will be lit in orange. Marches and rallies will mobilize women and men to demand an end to violence against women in countries from Pakistan to Papua New Guinea and Brazil.

Everyone has a role in the efforts to end violence against women. I invite you to join us this year as an important influencer of public awareness and opinion.

Please demonstrate your support and tell your audiences and readers that this issue is of personal importance to you. If you are a TV journalist, encourage your channel to bring your viewers news and interviews on the issue, and complement it symbolically by turning the newsroom orange or by wearing an orange piece of clothing on 25 November. If your medium is print, present your stories on this subject under an orange banner. If you are on the radio, make sure you highlight the urgency of ending this pandemic that affects a billion women worldwide. If you are at a public event, wear orange and tell people why you are doing so.

Your editorial focus on ending violence against women and girls will inform your large audiences, point to successful approaches to end the violence, and provide advice and support for survivors.

At UN Women, we stand ready to assist if needed. We can facilitate interviews with experts, provide data and statistics, or point you to exemplary initiatives. You and your organization may wish to draw on the content for the 16 Days that is produced by UN Women, available on the website in the coming weeks, at http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/end-violence-against-women

I hope we can count on your support for this cause, and partner with us in the global effort to end violence against women and girls. Do not hesitate to get in touch with our media colleagues (Oisika Chakrabarti oisika.chakrabarti@unwomen.org; Sharon Grobeisen sharon.grobeisen@unwomen.org; Maria Sanchez maria.sanchez@unwomen.org; and Zina Alam zina.alam@unwomen.org) if you have questions.

Together we can end violence against women and girls.

Yours sincerely,

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women

United Nations Under-Secretary-General, and Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka (left) shares a laugh with Director of the University of West Indies Institute for Gender and Development Studies Professor Verene Shepherd during a discussion at UWI earlier this month. (Photo: Darien Robertson/Gleaner)
United Nations Under-Secretary-General, and Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka (left) shares a laugh with Director of the University of West Indies Institute for Gender and Development Studies Professor Verene Shepherd during a discussion at UWI earlier this month. (Photo: Darien Robertson/Gleaner)

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