16 Days of Action: Why Orange?
Today, Wednesday 25th November, is International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women.
However, today also marks the beginning of 16 Days of Action, an annual international campaign which has one simple aim – to eradicate violence against women and girls and fight for a more equal world.
The 16 Days of Action campaign was started by activists at the first ever Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and to this days continues to be coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. Every year it is used as an organising strategy by individuals and organisations from across the globe to demand the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
29 years from its inception and in 2020 violence against women is on the rise.
As the world digs in to fight against the coronavirus pandemic, reports show there has been a dramatic and sharp increase in domestic violence. A UN Secretary General report into the impact of Covid19 stated that, “accompanying the crisis has been a spike in domestic violence reporting, at exactly the time that services, including rule of law, health and shelters, are being diverted to address the pandemic.”
Our communities here at home have been affected.
Across the UK, more than 40,000 calls were made to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline during the first three moments of lockdown. The charity, Refuge, which runs the service also reported calls were 80% higher than usual during the month of June alone. In Scotland in September, the Scottish Government announced £4.2m in extra funding to support organisations who help women who have suffered domestic abuse due to the increase in demand for these services during the pandemic.
It is clear that the 16 Days of Action campaign is needed now more than ever.
This year, the campaign’s global theme is: “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!”, and to show our solidarity and support all Impact Funding Partners logos will change to orange for the next 16 days. Orange is a colour used to symbolise a brighter future for all, and as means to demonstrate support in eliminating all forms of violence. It has been adopted by the 16 Days of Action campaign to show support in ending violence against women and girls.
Impact Funding Partners has a long history in standing up for equality, championing violence against women and girls organisations from across Scotland and being a voice in the community standing up for human rights. That dedication is a core value which drives the work we do, which is why over the next 16 days we will be sharing blogs, case studies, videos and interviews from leading lights within the Scottish third sector discussing the issues that deserve our attention and awareness.
Eliminating violence is an arduous task, but one we can achieve through collective solidarity, pressure and a will to change our society for the better.
You can keep up-to-date with the global campaign and get involved yourself by following: #16DaysofActivism on social media.