ASTANA — As the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women observed on Nov. 25 is approaching, the United Nations (UN) announced a 16-day global campaign aiming to combat and eradicate violence against women and girls.
This year’s initiative, led by UN Women and the Secretary-General, extends the activism until Dec. 10, International Human Rights Day, uniting individuals worldwide to take an active stance against gender-based violence.
This year’s theme – Taking Active Steps to End Violence Against Women and Girls – underscores the need for unified efforts to combat this pervasive issue. The campaign urges widespread participation and will utilize the color orange as a symbolic representation of a future free from violence against women and girls. Numerous events are planned, aiming to raise awareness, advocate for change, and foster dialogue. Among them is an official gathering at the UN on Nov. 23, accessible through online broadcasts on UN Women or UN TV.
The campaign’s core objective remains to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls in all its forms. Its main focus encompasses physical, sexual, and psychological violence, encompassing partner violence, sexual harassment, human trafficking, female genital mutilation, and child marriages. This campaign calls for collective mobilization and activism to stand in solidarity with women’s rights movements globally, resisting any regression in women’s rights and striving for a world free from violence.
The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, adopted in 1993, defines the term as any act of violence based on gender that causes physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering, threatening coercion or deprivation of liberty in both public and private life.
The impact of violence against women extends to adverse psychological, sexual, and reproductive health outcomes, affecting women at all stages of life. Vulnerable groups such as young girls, older women, LGBTQ+ individuals, migrants, indigenous populations, those with disabilities, and individuals in humanitarian crises face heightened risks.
This violence acts as a significant impediment to progress in achieving equality, development, and peace. The Sustainable Development Goals’ core principle of leaving no one behind cannot be realized without putting an end to violence against women.