International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, #HearMeToo

NEW DELHI: As part of the global 16 days of activism campaign, the UN House in India turned orange on Friday, ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, marked annually on November 25.

The event, which was organised under the theme ‘Orange The World: #HearMeToo’, focused on women and girls who continue to experience violence and abuse, which is often overlooked, normalized, justified and made invisible.

The Orange-themed event was organised by the United Nations Women, along with the UN in India, as part of the UN Secretary General’s UNiTE campaign that is set to continue till the International Day of Human Rights on December 10.

Addressing the gathering, Yuri Afanasiev, the UN Resident Coordinator in India said, “Violence against women is one of history’s gravest and most widespread injustices, and nothing short of a global movement for transformation will challenge it.

“Women are one of the biggest stakeholders of the future, and our nations and societies must be built through their full and equal participation. The United Nations reaffirms our zero tolerance to any form of gender-based violence, and stands in solidarity with the voices of women and for gender equality everywhere,” he said.

The movement is supported by UN Women as part of their global solidarity movement HeForShe, under which people of all gender stand in solidarity with women to create a bold, visible and united force for gender equality.

Nishtha Satyam, Deputy Representative of UN Women India, said the objective of the 16-day campaign is to mobilise support among all partners and stand in solidarity with survivors, survivor advocates, women’s movements and women’s human rights defenders who are working to end violence against women and girls.

“Many women are waiting for their concerns to be heeded to. Their voices must be heard too, and hence the theme #HearMeToo”, she said.

Indian playback singer, Neeti Mohan, who was also present at the event said, “While we are struggling to find balance in the words the positive is that we have a uniting movement. The day the word ‘Gender’ does not exist is the day a gender-equal society would be in existence.”

During the dialogue on changing the narrative on gender equality and ending violence against women, National award-winning filmmaker and producer Vibha Bakshi introduced the teaser of her upcoming ‘Son Rise’ which focuses on some ordinary men from Haryana who took on the extraordinary job of standing against a patriarchal mindset.

‘Son Rise” is aimed at a movement where men take it upon themselves to stand up against atrocities done on women and children and build a safe society. Set in Haryana, the film is an appeal to end the patriarchal mindset by portraying real examples of men who have subverted age-old notions to ring in a positive change in their families.