Egypt’s National Council for Women (NCW), in partnership with the UN Women Egypt Country Office, lit up the Great Pyramids and Sphinx of Giza in orange on 25 November.
The event joined the global community in launching the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. The 16 day period commences every year on 25 November, which marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until International Human Rights Day on 10 December.
The “Orange the World” event and the lighting of the Giza Plateau, falls within the UN Secretary General’s UNiTE campaign. In this, the colour orange symbolises a future that is free from all forms of violence against women and girls worldwide.
During the 16 Days of Activism, iconic buildings and monuments around the world are lit up in orange as a call for global action. It aims to increase awareness and galvanise advocacy efforts while sending a message to the whole world that violence against women and girls is unacceptable.
NCW President Maya Morsi said, “Violence against women represents a gross violation of human rights, and has many negative effects on women, whether physical or psychological, which prevents them from actively participating in society.”
She added, “It is also a strong factor that has a great impact on the economic, social, political and cultural levels, whether locally or internationally, which requires everyone to work jointly and mobilise efforts to confront this problem, address it, and to raise awareness on its impacts and repercussions on women and all members of the family, society, and the entire nation.”
UN Women Egypt Country Representative Christine Arab said that the year 2020 has seen the world grappling with the impact of a pandemic never before imagined.
“Prior to and during the pandemic, violence against women and girls continues to be a global phenomenon that not only has negative consequences for women but also their families, communities, and nations,” Arab said, “But violence against women and girls can be overcome with our joint efforts, investments, and voice.”
Throughout the 16 Days of Activism period, the NCW and UN Women Egypt, in collaboration with several development partners, are organising a number of on the ground and virtual activities.
These will occur whilst taking precautionary measures against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic into consideration. They will bring together different stakeholders to promote a change in mindset and culture, as part of efforts to eliminate all forms of gender-based violence.