Egypt’s National Council for Women (NCW), in partnership with the UN Women office in Egypt, illuminated the Giza Pyramids and the Sphinx in orange on Wednesday, joining the international community in launching the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, a statement by NCW read.
The 16-day campaign starts annually on 25 November, marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and ends on the International Human Rights Day on 10 December.
This year’s theme for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is “Orange the World.”
The NCW said that Orange the World’s call and the illumination of landmarks are part of the UN secretary-general's "Unite" campaign. The orange colour symbolises a future free from all forms of violence against women worldwide.
During the campaign, icobic buildings and monuments around the world are lit in orange to mobilise efforts to end violence against women, the NCW said.
"Violence against women is a gross violation of human rights and has negative physical and psychological repercussions on women, preventing them from actively participating in society. It also hinders economic, social, political, and cultural development," Maya Morsy, head of the NCW, said.
Morsy stressed joint activities and awareness campaigns are imperative to eliminate the problem and mitigate its impact on women, families, and societies.
According to a WHO multi-country study on women’s health and domestic violence against women, 70 percent of women experience physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner at some point in their lives.
Cristine Arab, UN Women Egypt Country Representative, said that prior to and during the coronavirus 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.
Throughout the 16-day campaign, the NCW and UN Women Egypt in collaboration with several development partners are organising a number of on-ground and virtual activities, while taking COVID-19 precautionary measures into consideration, bringing together different stakeholders to promote a change in mindset and culture in an effort to eliminate all forms of violence, the NCW statement read.