India Gate turns orange for ending violence against women

New Delhi, Nov 25 (IANS) Lit orange to mark the International Day of Elimination of Violence against Women on Wednesday, the India Gate here on Wednesday joined Egypt’s Sphinx and Pyramids and New York’s Empire State Building as iconic monuments highlighting the UN’s “Orange the World” campaign.

The initiative was organised by the global body and its agencies including UN Women India, UN Population Fund (UNPFA) and UN Development Programme (UNDP).

The UN had earlier announced that 25th of every month will be observed as ‘Orange Day’ while the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women will be observed on November 25, which will also mark the start of 16 days activism going on till December 10 which is recognised as International Human Rights Day.

Speaking at the event, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan emphasised the need of women’s empowerment in order to put an end to violence against them.

“Violence against woman is disliked and condemned worldwide. Ending discrimination against woman and empowering them should be given importance in India,” she said.

Among others present were UN Women’s India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka Representative Rebecca Reichmann Tavares, Additional Secretary, Woman and Child Development Preeti Sudan, National Commission for Women chairperson Lalita Kumaramangalam, classical dancer Aishwarya Dhanush, UN Assistant Secretary General and UN Women’s deputy executive director Lakshmi Puri, and UNFPA representative Fredrica Mayer.

The event addressed issues like harassment of women, dowry, acid attacks, stalking, child marriage, sexual harassment at work place, physical violence as well as need for compulsory education for girl child.

Speaking to IANS on the issue of raising awareness about violence against women, Puri said: “There are three aspects of awareness. The first is to acknowledge the fact that domestic violence/violence against women is an issue and is intolerable.

“Second is to encourage women to file a complaint regarding it if necessary. A women will complaint only if she is aware about the laws which are there to protect her.

“Third is to make general public aware about where to go file a complaint and how to file a complaint.”

She also said that they have been advocating for One Stop Crisis Centre since the beginning.

Sudan said: “Government initiatives like ‘Beti Bachao’ campaign has brought the issue in the public forum. The factor of fear among women needs to be address equally and the Indian government is with the UN’s cause to instil a sense of security in them.”

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