The United Nations Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women (UNiTE Campaign) was launched in 2008. The overall objective of UNiTE Campaign was to raise public awareness and increase political will and resources for preventing and ending violence against women and girls. With the campaign, the former Secretary-General launched a broad-based call to governments, civil society, women’s organizations, young people, the private sector, artists, the media, the entire United Nations system, and individual women and men, to join forces in addressing the global pandemic of violence against women and girls. In 2017, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres decided to link UNiTE to Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals, re-naming the campaign to UNiTE by 2030. UNiTE by 2030 is guided by a vision of focusing on activities to help achieve SDG Goal 5 and the target on ending violence against women, while attending to “leaving no one behind”. Secretary General Guterres sought to provide a collective platform for large-scale global mobilization and to link a wide range of stakeholders’ initiatives to the Secretary-General’s efforts.
The UNiTE Campaign is currently active in all world regions, and in 2017, recorded activities in 85 countries. One of the signature activities of the unite Campaign is the lighting of landmark buildings in the color orange during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence between 25th November and 10th December every year.. In 2017 the Parliaments in Bangladesh, Liberia, and Morocco, Rio’s iconic statue of Christ, the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City, the City Hall in Bogota, the Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa, the New York City Hall, the City Hall of Bunkyo-city in Japan, Municipal Palace and the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Guatemala; The European Commission (Berlaymont Building), the Parliament (Station Europe) and Hotel de Ville of the Grand-place in Brussels were lit up in orange in honor of 25th November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
As per Policy Committee Decision No. 20007/31, the three key areas of focus for the Secretary-General's campain UNiTE to End Violence against Women are global advocacy, UN leadership, and strengthening efforts and partnerships at the national and regional levels.
Almost all UN agencies commemorated the International Women’s Day and the 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence by organizing events to raise awareness on violence against women. ESCAP and UN Women co-organized the 2012 Asia-Pacific Regional Commemoration of International Women’s Day under the theme, “Youth voices UNiTE to End Violence Against Women and Girls”, an interactive event that enabled discussions among nearly 200 youths and other stakeholders. On 7 December 2012, ESCAP and UN Women also co-organized the Asia-Pacific Regional Commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which featured high-level attendance from the Thai government, as well as introduction of new regional members of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Network of Men Leaders and a panel of mutli-stakeholder voices from across the region; publishing information sheets on violence against women and its health consequences (WHO). The Secretary General’s UNiTE Campaign, managed by UN Women, has gained momentum around the world. It uses a variety of means to raise awareness and secure commitments to take action to end VAW, including public pronouncements on the part of high-level officials, media outreach and events. In 2012 The Africa UNiTE Campaign - Kilimanjaro Climb hosted by Tanzania under the auspices of the President raised the issue of VAWG to the highest levels,resulting in strengthened national commitments throughout the Africa Region. At the national level, Tanzania is implementing its commitments through the newly created multi-sectoral committee on VAWG. And in Mozambique the UNiTE Campaign was expanded to the provincial level in a joint effort with the UNiTE Champion of Change and Men for Change. More than 800 secondary school students, teachers and school managers in Quelimane, Zambézia Province participated in debates towards zero tolerance against VAWG, particularly in the school environment. In the Pacific the campaign succeeded in securing the “Pacific Members of Parliament UNiTE statement” – the first of its kind in the region, tabled at the Pacific Island Forum Leaders meeting in the Cook Islands.Hide
The Say NO to violence campaign (www.sayNOtoviolence.org) continued with a significant expansion in signatures from individuals, public figures, state officials, private sector entities and governments.Hide
The campaign was successfully rolled out in the Caribbean in October 2010 and in Asia in November 2010, with a launch in the Pacific expected in early 2011. In the Middle East a number of activities are being implemented under the leadership of ESCWA. Regional Secretariats for UNiTE Latin America and Caribbean, UNiTE Africa and UNiTE Asia are implementing regional and national interagency work plans. At the national level, many Resident Coordinators are leading their country teams in the further development of the campaign’s activities at the national level. From Bridgetown to Addis, from Uruguay to Lebanon various campaigning activities focused on building partnerships, raising the visibility of the campaign’s concerns and solutions and social mobilization, including concerts, exhibitions, media outreach and expert discussions. In Mexico, UNiTE Latin America organized a concert with performances by Costa Rican singer Debi Nova, Palestinian Hip Hop group G-Town, and Mexican rock singer Pambo. In Uganda, the Department of Peace and Security, with other UN partners, mounted a photo exhibition on violence against women and girls in conflict and post-conflict situations. At regional and national levels, the campaign has engaged in consultations with a large number of civil society organizations in order to develop strategies and campaigning activities. As a result, UNiTE is being used as an umbrella for activities of civil society and community organizations. For example, in Tajikistan twenty four world champions of the National Federation of Taekwondo and Kickboxing serve as a network of local advocates to prevent violence and discrimination against women and girls. The Federation has already talked to a military unit about violence in the family and the role of men in harmonizing family relations. The UNiTE Secretariat has developed strategic partnerships with: • An award winning media campaign Bell Bajao (Ring the Bell), developed by Breakthrough, an international organization, involving men and boys to transform public attitudes about violence against women and girls. The UNiTE Campaign aims to utilize this partnership to further engage members of the Secretary-General’s Network of Men Leaders. The UN Secretary-General has recorded a public service announcement as the inaugural “champion” of the Bell Bajao Global campaign and this new partnership that was announced at the Clinton Global Initiative. • Together for Girls, an initiative to end sexual violence against adolescent girls that is comprised of the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the US Department of State’s Office Global Women’s Issues, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNIFEM (part of UN Women), the Nduna Foundation, BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), and Grupo ABC of Brazil. Partnership efforts focus on three pillars: conducting national surveys on the magnitude and impact of sexual violence, supporting a plan of action at the country level and launching communications and public awareness campaigns. The UNiTE Campaign will aim to link UNiTE’s relevant national activities with this global partnership. • Religions for Peace, the largest international coalition of representatives from the world’s great religions dedicated to promoting peace, which will focus on the engagement of religious leaders in the Secretary-General’s Network of Men Leaders. The UNiTE campaign continues to work through the Secretary-General’s Network of Men Leaders.The Network currently has 15 members and the UNiTE Campaign aims to enlist up to 100 new members by the end of 2011. In August 2010 members of the Network issued a petition to call on the African Union, its regional bodies and Member States to take urgent action to end the endemic violence faced by women and girls across the continent, especially in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Paulo Coelho, Brazilian author, also supports the campaign through several mediums. In an interview in December 2010 he said about the Network: "Men should be more aware of the problems women face…Unfortunately, in our world controlled by men, awareness is too low. Things have to change and what’s better for that than the UN, a global, non-profit organization that promotes peace and a better life for human beings. That’s why I’m part of this group and again, I’m proud to be part of it." On 23 November, 2010, during the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the UNiTE Campaign organized two events - a Breakfast with Secretary-General and the corporate sector and the UN Official Observance ceremony, both attended by the Secretary-General. The preparations were led by the former Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues, now UN Women, which is the Secretariat for the UNiTE Campaign, in close collaboration with DPI, UNFPA, UNiTE Latin America and Caribbean component, UN Trust Fund to Eliminate Violence against Women and UN Women. The focus on the theme Leadership of the Corporate Sector in Ending Violence against Women and Girls has provided the UNiTE Campaign with an opportunity to establish a dialogue with corporate leaders about the engagement of the business sector with the campaign. In December 2011, the UN Federal Credit Union (UNFCU) joined the UNiTE Campaign in its fundraising efforts to achieve the $100M for the UN Trust Fund and raised a total of over 11,000 USD. The Say NO– UNiTE to End Violence against Women social mobilization platform has recorded more than 1.8 million actions in one year, having a network of nearly 29,000 people on social media and 382 civil society partners. Former UNIFEM (now part of UN Women) continued to play a key role in the coordination and roll out of the regional chapters of the Secretary-General’s UNiTE Campaign in Africa, East and South East Asia, Asia-Pacific and the Caribbean. UNFPA is a key supporter of the SG’s Campaign “UNiTE to End Violence against Women” and has provided technical and financial support to roll out the Campaign at the regional and country levels.Hide
In March 2015, the United Nations Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women (UNiTE) launched its call to action for the 16 Days of Activism, ‘Orange the World: End Violence against Women and Girls’. View More
In March 2015, the United Nations Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women (UNiTE) launched its call to action for the 16 Days of Activism, ‘Orange the World: End Violence against Women and Girls’. The theme of prevention of violence against women and girls was selected as a focus to provide opportunities to highlight the need for greater investment in ending violence against women and girls at global, regional and country level in the particular context of the new SDG framework with a focus on prevention as a long term solution.Hide
The Secretary-General’s campaign “UNiTE to End Violence against Women” has increased UN system-wide efforts to develop regional and country-level activities in support to Member States and civil society. The campaign’s Latin American component was launched in Guatemala City on 25 November 2009, while the African component was launched in Addis Ababa on 30 January 2010. In November 2009, the Secretary-General announced his Network of Men Leaders which will contribute to social mobilization and transformational change to promote a society that is free of violence against women.Hide
In Africa, training sessions were organized in 2013 and 2015 under the auspices of the UNiTE campaign for representatives from the Defense Forces, Police institutions and Correctional Services. Participants received training to enhance the View More
In Africa, training sessions were organized in 2013 and 2015 under the auspices of the UNiTE campaign for representatives from the Defense Forces, Police institutions and Correctional Services. Participants received training to enhance the capacity of Africa Security Organs to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls in conflict and post-conflict situations.Hide