From 25 November through 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence aim to raise public awareness and mobilizing people everywhere to bring about change.
Starting November 25, UN Women promotes the global 16-day ORANGE campaign, which aims to put this violence against women and girls in the spotlight, through many different actions and interventions by governments, civil society organisations, private businesses and individuals worldwide.
Studies and statistics demonstrate that such action is also necessary in Vietnam, where a study found out, that one in three women are beaten or sexually abused by their husbands or partners. If emotional abuse is added, the figure goes up to six out of ten. Further, a recent small-scale survey conducted in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City found that 87% of women and girls interviewed had experienced some form of sexual harassment in public places.
As a local development project in TT Hue province, VIE/033 takes a strong focus on women. Indeed, in spite of the overall achievements in socio-economic development, poverty remains a fact of life for many people and women are over-represented. Furthermore, many women who are not officially categorised as ‘poor’ or ‘near-poor’, are most vulnerable and at risk of falling into poverty quickly from the moment something goes wrong – for example as a result of a climate or weather-related event, to which the province is prone to.
The project, therefore, supports and works closely with the Women’s Union, specifically on the broad issues of Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment. As part of that support, we decided to jointly engage in the global campaign as well as "Orange Hue City".
The main event of this 16-day campaign took place on Campaign Day, in the morning of 5 December, at TT Hue’s main cultural centre, with music and dance performances, speeches by provincial leaders, the UN Women Country Representative and Lux-Development. They were joined by a campaign team of 500 enthusiasts – every single one of them dressed in the colour of the day.
Thousands of leaflets were distributed at key places around the city, and an Orange parade on bicycles rode the city’s streets, which had been decorated in the colours of the 16-day campaign and brought the Campaign Day to an impressive close.
As the UN Women’s Country Representative stated in her speech: “fear of violence leads women to withdraw from society and from jobs, and causes girls to drop out of school”. Through this Orange campaign, and the wide media coverage in newspapers and on TV, people’s awareness about the forms and level of violence against women and girls, and what action can be taken against it, has been raised. In combination with the active support of the local authorities to tackle the issues, we are hopeful that it will contribute to a safer environment for women and girls and foster their socio-economic prospects.
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