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Take a stand against rape culture

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#orange the world, stand against rape, rape culture, consent issues, violence against women, 16 Days, UNiTE campaign, UNSexual violence is still being normalised and embedded in our social environments.

From the trivialising of rape, victim-blaming, the objectification  of women’s bodies in movies or TV, the glamorisation of violence in ads, or the constant use of misogynistic language, we are all daily witnesses to rape culture, sometimes even as silent bystanders.

And we have a responsibility to stop it.

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day.

It was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and continues to be coordinated each year by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership.

It is used as an organising strategy by individuals and organisations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

In support of this civil society initiative, under the leadership of the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence against Women campaign (UNiTE campaign) calls for global actions to increase awareness, galvanise advocacy efforts, and share knowledge and innovations.

In 2019, the UNiTE campaign theme of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is ‘Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands against Rape!‘.

And while the names, times and contexts may differ, women and girls universally experience rape, sexual violence, and abuse, in times of peace or war.

Rape is rooted in a complex set of patriarchal beliefs, power, and control that continue to create a social environment in which sexual violence is pervasive and normalised.

Exact numbers of rape and sexual assaults are notoriously difficult to confirm due to frequent latitude and impunity for perpetrators, stigma towards survivors, and their subsequent silence.

One of the key challenges in prevention and eradication of rape and sexual harassment is the issue of consent, and the current lack of understanding that only yes means yes.

Equally important is that the consent is offered with free will, without being induced by fraud, coercion, violence or threat of violence, and in the person’s full capacity – which is not the case, for instance, when someone is drunk.

Approximately 15 million adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 worldwide have experienced forced sex at some point in their life. Furthermore, three billion women and girls live in countries where rape within marriage is not explicitly criminalised.

Sexual violence and rape have also been used against women and girls as a deliberate tool in conflicts, such as the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Rwanda.

In Myanmar, where more than half a million Rohingya have fled the country, rape and other forms of sexual violence have been used as part of the efforts to displace populations.

In Syria, sexual violence has been used to extract information from women, and to coerce surrender from male relatives.

But in recent years, the voices of survivors and activists, through campaigns such as #MeToo, #TimesUp, #Niunamenos, #NotOneMore, #BalanceTonPorc, and others, have put the spotlight on the issue of sexual violence and have reached a crescendo that cannot be silenced or ignored anymore.

And now, under the umbrella of UN Women’s Generation Equality campaign that marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the UNiTE Campaign is calling on people from all walks of life to learn more about and take a stand against the pervasive rape culture that surrounds us.

Join in: share your photos, messages and videos showing how you are participating in the UNiTE campaign on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using #OrangeTheWorld and #GenerationEquality.

You can also join the conversation on social media by sharing campaign materials that you can download here.

  1. So important to do something against it. Thanks for speading the message..

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