Vancouver City Hall, BC Place, Science World, and Canada Place will be lit up in orange on Friday to support the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
The BC Legislature will also be illuminated in orange from Friday to Wednesday, December 7, as part of a worldwide effort to highlight the issue.
There will be more illuminations across Canada, including in Port Coquitlam, Burlington, Halifax, Calgary, Saskatoon, Peterborough, Brighton, Mississauga, Hamilton, and Montreal.
The UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women kicks off the UNiTE Campaign – 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
According to UN statistics, a third of women around the world have suffered physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner or sexual violence by a non-partner.
In a public message, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said such violence harms not just women and girls, but the wider community and economy too.
“When women cannot work as a result of violence, their employment may be put at risk, jeopardizing much-needed income, autonomy and their ability to leave abusive relationships,” said Ki-moon. “Violence against women also results in lost productivity for businesses, and drains resources from social services, the justice system and health-care agencies.”
According to the UN, women’s activists have marked 25 November as a day against violence since 1981, to mark the brutal assassination of three female political activists in 1960.
The three Mirabal sisters were killed on the orders of Rafael Trujillo, then ruler of the Dominican Republic. November 25 was adopted as an international day by the UN in 1993.
This year’s theme focuses on the urgent need for sustainable financing to end violence against women and girls as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Ki-moon is urging governments, business and supporters around the world to contribute to UN Women and to the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women.
“Efforts to address this challenge, although rich in political commitment, are chronically under-funded,” said Ki-moon.
“We are seeing the world lit up in orange, symbolizing a bright future for women and girls. With dedicated investment, we can keep these lights shining, uphold human rights and eliminate violence against women and girls for good.”