The Giza pyramids, the Sphinx and the Cairo Tower have all basked in orange illumination for 16 days which began on 25 November and ended on 10 December. The lighting was a joint effort between the Egyptian authorities and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) to mark “16 Days of Activism to End Gender Based Violence” in Cairo, in an effort to raise awareness on the issue of violence against women and girls.
The annual celebration of the 16 Days of Activism began on the International Day to End Violence against Women and ended on Human Rights Day. The aim was to raise public awareness in order to halt this gross violation of women’s human rights which affects at least 1 in 3 women and girls worldwide. For the first time ever, one of the wonders of the ancient world, the Egyptian pyramids, was lit along with the Sphinx and Cairo Tower in an eye-catching universal message to end this human rights violation.
The UN call to “Orange YOUR Neighborhood” kicked off on 25 November with people around the world displaying the colour to symbolise hope for a future free from violence against women and girls. People tied orange ribbons on landmarks; marchers dressed in orange, and other events in the hope of raising awareness and discussing community-wide solutions to end gender-based violence.
A critical juncture has been reached with global recognition that violence against women and girls is a serious but solvable problem. Momentum is growing as the world gears up in 2015 to mark the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action, as well as the end of the Millennium Development Goals and the framing of a bold new global development agenda post 2015.
14 December 2014