NEW DELHI: As part of a global ‘Orange the World’ campaign, the iconic India Gate today lit up in the colour orange celebrating the International Day of Elimination of Violence against Women.
The event was organised by UN Women Indian along with UNFPA India, UNDP and UN in India as part of the United Nations’ global campaign that is set to continue till December 10, designated as the UN’s Human Rights Day.
Inaugurating the event Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan said, “Addressing the issue of woman empowerment should be the topmost priority right now. During my tenure as a minister, we celebrated women empowerment day every year.
“Violence against woman is disliked and condemned worldwide. Ending discrimination against woman and empowering them should be given importance in India,” she said.
Frederika Meijer Representative UN Population Fund, India and country director UNFPA said that United Nations aims to eliminate all kinds of violence against women and gender discrimination and seeks to end it by 2030.
Filmmaker and classical dancer Aishwarya Dhanush who was present at the event said, “The awareness regarding the discrimination and violence against women should start from home. Raising hands must only be for raising doubts, and nothing else. The foundation has to be started right from the home.”
“We are born in a chauvinistic society and men should help in changing the mindset,” she further said.
According to the UN the colour orange is symbolic of “a united fight to end violence against women”.
The campaign, which began in 1991 witnessed participation across 17 countries with landmarks such as the Sphinx in Egypt and the Empire State Building in New York lit up in orange in solidarity.
The event addressed issues like eve-teasing, dowry, acid attacks, child marriage, compulsory education for girl child and physical violence among others. The women leaders called for the participation of men and boys towards the progress of women in the world.
Chairperson of National Commission of Women (NCW) Lalita Kumaramangalam said, “When I took over I realised the pressure on police officials in addressing the grievances by women was mind boggling. Until the society as a whole does not address women issue, the problem will continue to stand before us.
“As NCW chairperson I feel that every family must join hands with the administration to eliminate violence and discrimination against women. Then only it will be eliminated from its root cause,” she said.
Stating that discrimination and violence against women often starts even before their birth, Preeti Sudan, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development said, “Government initiatives like ‘Beti Bachao’ campaign has brought the issue in the public forum. The factor of fear among women needs to be addressed equally and the Indian government is with the UN’s cause to instill a sense of security in them.”