#OrangetheWorld to End Violence Against Women

Today is International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women, or what social media is calling #OrangetheWorld. These 16 days of activism – leading up to Human Rights Day on December 10 – are raising public awareness about a huge global health problem affecting the health of millions of girls and women.

That problem is violence.

Recent global figures indicate that one in three women around the world have experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime. Women who experience intimate partner violence are twice as likely to suffer from depression and 1.5 times more likely to have a sexually transmitted infection including HIV, compared to those who have never been exposed to such violence. They are also more at risk for unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions. When violence occurs during pregnancy, women are more likely to suffer miscarriages, stillbirths, premature births, and to have low birth weight babies.

Violence is not inevitable. It can be prevented. But it’s not as straightforward as eradicating a virus. There is no vaccine, medication, or cure. And there is no one single reason for why it happens.

As UN Women explains, this is why prevention strategies must be holistic, with multiple interventions undertaken in parallel in order to have long-lasting and permanent effects. Many sectors, actors and stakeholders need to be engaged. More evidence is emerging on what interventions work to prevent violence—from community mobilization to change social norms, to comprehensive school interventions targeting staff and pupils, to economic empowerment and income supplements coupled with gender equality training.

Prevention is the theme of International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women, and prevention is what will solve this crisis. Please join us over the next two weeks as we join the global conversation – uncovering linkages, mobilizing action, and coming one step closer to a world in which girls and women live free from violence.

Follow along on social with hashtag #OrangetheWorld

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