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(Author: Viola Christian, Program Officer Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens (advocacy, empowerment))
五年前，聯合國多個成員國同意就17個可持續議題發表共同願景，希望推動實現Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)的整體路線圖及潛在可行方案。女性作為地球人口二分之一的性別，如要達致「Leave No One Behind」的理想目標，滿足基本人權保障條件，國際社會必需積極邁進，防止女性受到家庭或性暴力困擾，扭轉現時落後情況。
在2008年，時任聯合國秘書長潘基文（Bam Ki Moon）利用數年時間積極拓展名為「 UNiTE」的跨國保護女性權益網絡，邀請公民社會、各國政府、非政府組織、女性組織、私人企業及青年階層等各個持份者，會同聯合國轄下力量，一同關注現時女性所面對的嚴竣景況。直至2015年，聯合國再次提升「 UNiTE」的角色和地位，發表「Orange the World」計劃，將11月25日設定為「國際消除對女性使用暴力日 」，以及在12月10日成立「國際人權日」，加快人權保障運動發展。
奧地利位處歐洲中心，與聯合國在人權議題上的合作亦都非常緊密，在2019年，超過130個奧地利機構参與了「Orange the World」的16天活動日程，希望借此表達奧地利反對性別暴力的決心和行動。2020年是紛亂的一年，在疫情蔓延之際，家庭暴力亦隨著封城政策而上升，奧地利女星 Ursula Strauss 更擔任活動主席，協助宣揚有關信息。從11月下旬到12月上旬，多個聯合國及奧地利政治領袖將會共同舉辦研討會，合力為著女性權益尋找出路，減低女性受到暴力對待的可能性。
During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence from the 25th of November to the 10th of December, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens contributes to the Orange the World Campaign globally and in Austria, calling for the elimination of violence against women and girls.
Five years ago, in 2015, the member states of the United Nations (UN) agreed on 17 global goals to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. Since then, these Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have evolved into a guiding roadmap for finding long term solutions to global challenges. “Leaving No One Behind” has become the key message of this agenda, as the global community emphasised that the SDGs can only be achieved if peace and prosperity holds true for everyone.
Women make up half of the world’s population, but they still struggle to even exercise their fundamental human rights. A staggering one in three women experiences physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. Violence against women and girls is, thus, one of the most pervasive human rights violations and perhaps the most obvious manifestation of the deeply rooted imbalances in power in our societies. How will we ever reach the SDGs if such inequalities still exist?
In 2008, the UN, under the leadership of its 8th Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, pushed for a multi-year effort aimed at preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls around the world, called UNiTE to End Violence against Women. The campaign called on governments, civil society, women’s organizations, young people, the private sector, the media and the entire UN system to join forces in addressing the global pandemic of violence against women and girls. It has, for example, worked to adopt and enforce national laws to address and punish all forms of violence against women and girls, in line with international human rights standards.
In 2015 UN Women became the agency entrusted to lead the UN’s efforts to advocate the elimination of violence against women and girls. To strengthen UNiTE, UN Women announced the “Orange the World” campaign, to take place annually during the period between the 25th of November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and the 10th of December, Human Rights Day. During these 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, the world’s most prominent monuments and buildings are illuminated in orange, representing a future free from violence against women and girls.
Hosting the United Nations and located in the heart of Europe, Austria plays a key role in boosting the campaign on a local and international level. UN Women Austria, Soroptimist International Austria, HeForShe Austria and the Ban Ki-moon Centre are working in close partnership on the Austrian contribution to Orange the World. In 2019, the partners counted over 130 Austrian buildings in monuments illuminated in orange during the 16 Days of Activism. In 2020, the aim is to surpass this number and to shed light on current challenges regarding gender-based violence with the support of the Austrian actress Ursula Strauss as the campaign’s spokesperson.
2020 has been rattled by the Covid-19 pandemic and emerging data has shown that the lock-down measures around the world were accompanied by a spike in reported domestic violence cases. This alarming development demonstrates that action must be taken to prevent the aggravation and contribute to the elimination of what UN Women has named ‘The Shadow Pandemic’.
To spread the message of the campaign to a wider audience and discuss the issues of the Shadow Pandemic with high-level actors, two online events will take place during the Orange the World timeframe.
At a virtual high-level roundtable on November 26th titled “Tackling the Shadow Pandemic – Violence Against Women During COVID-19 Times”, Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, former Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark, Regional Director of UN Women Asia and Pacific Mohammad Naciri, CEO of Avon Angela Cretu, and women’s rights activist Trisha Shetty will discuss what steps can be taken to address the spike in violence against women during COVID-19. The event will be hosted by the Co-chairs of the Ban Ki-moon Centre, 8th UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and 11th President of Austria Heinz Fischer.
On December 1st, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Ban Ki-moon Centre will host a Virtual Expo called “Education, Empowerment, and Effective Policies: Innovative Initiatives Preventing Gender-Based Violence”. As part of UNODC’s Education for Justice Global Dialogue Series, changemakers from around the world will come together and present how they take action to prevent violence against women and girls.
To make the world a safer and better place for all, we must all do our part to eliminate violence against women and girls in all its forms. We encourage you to get active in the Orange the World campaign by hosting an event, sharing its messages, and becoming part of this global movement!
About the Ban Ki-moon Centre:
In 2018, Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer founded the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens (BKMC), to empower women and youth to become global citizens within the framework of the SDGs. Acknowledging that gender-based violence restricts, if not prevents individuals to be a part of and contribute to the 2030 Agenda, the BKMC, based in Vienna, Austria, also advocates for the elimination of violence against women and girls. The Ban Ki-moon Centre has been an active contributor to the Orange the World Campaign in Austria since 2018. (www.bankimooncentre.org)
Viola Christian, Program Officer Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens (advocacy, empowerment)