Unite to end violence against women


“ORANGE the World” is the message from the United Nations secretary-general’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign which starts on Nov 25.
The idea is to use the colour designated by the UNiTE campaign to symbolise a brighter future without violence.
All member countries have been urged to organise events to orange streets, schools and landmarks.
The day also launches the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign, which is a global campaign dedicated to ending gender-based violence.
It runs each year from Nov 25’s International Day for the Elimination of  Violence against Women to Dec 10, the Human Rights Day.
The 16 Days Campaign is dedicated to:

  • Raising awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue;
  • Strengthening local work around violence against women;
  • Providing a forum to develop and share strategies;
  • Demonstrating the solidarity of activists around the world; and,
  • Calling on governments to account, respond, protect, and prevent violence against women.

Based on the global advocacy on gender-based violence, Papua New Guinea decided to highlight children’s issues.
It encompassed the aim for engaging civil society on ending violence against women and children; increased efforts to combat HIV/AIDS epidemic including upholding the rights of people living with the virus; upholding the rights of people with special needs; building awareness on the right to have a society free of corruption and on human rights issues.
‘Leave no one behind: Together 4 Justice’ is the national theme this year. The events kick off in PNG with International Children’s Day (Nov 20), then  International Day for the elimination of violence against women (Nov 25); World AIDS Day (Dec 1); International day for people with special needs (Dec 3); International volunteers day (Dec 5); International anti-corruption day (Dec 9); International human rights day (Dec 10).
For PNG, the key messages is that violence towards women and children is never acceptable.
Those who are being abused or subjected to abuse must know it is OK to ask for help and the community must know it is OK to offer help.
No violence is tolerable. If you know someone who is being frightened or intimidated by the behaviour of someone else, it is not OK.
The 20-day of activities organised in PNG must be supported by everyone, including businesshouses, schools and the Government.
Activities must be organised to raise public awareness and mobilise people everywhere to bring about change.
One of the major challenges to efforts to prevent and end violence against women and girls in PNG is the substantial funding shortfall.
As a result, resources for initiatives to prevent and end violence against women and girls are severely lacking.
Frameworks, such as the Sustainable Development Goals which include a specific target on ending violence against women and girls, offer huge promise, but must be properly funded to bring real and significant changes in the lives of women and girls.
In PNG, a positive step is having Prime Minister Peter O’Neill come out last month calling on communities to stand up against any act of violence against women. The churches must take a leading role in protecting victims and exposing violent men.
O’Neill’s message is clear: A man is a coward if he thinks it is OK to hit a woman.
Here in PNG, there must be zero tolerance on violence against women. Community leaders must do more to help victims rather than supporting the perpetrators.
The timing is perfect for the national government to increase public awareness aimed at preventing domestic violence.
All businesshouses should come on board and together with the Government paint the cities and towns orange.