Orange the World | Beijing

Together, we are striving to end gender-based violence worldwide. On November 24th, the Embassy of the Netherlands in China participated in the launch of the Orange the World campaign. Orange the World is a global campaign which traditionally starts on the United Nations International Day to End Violence against Women, asking for more awareness and action against gender-based violence. The color orange stands for a brighter, violence-free future.

Cooperation to end gender-based violence

“We should realize that violence against women is one of the most widespread human rights issues worldwide. One in three women will experience this in her lifetime,” were the words of Mr. Kronenburg, Ambassador of the Netherlands in Beijing. On November 24th he launched the Orange the World campaign together with UN Women China at the Netherlands Embassy in Beijing. “Towards the future, we have to lead by example and end gender-based violence!”

Long deemed a private issue, the awareness for gender-based violence is growing in China. The Chinese public opinion is shifting, also due to many recent #hearmetoo and celebrity scandals. In 2016 the first Chinese legislation on domestic violence went into effect. The Netherlands hopes for a full implementation of the legislation, making it the duty and responsibility of all, including employers, to signal domestic violence.

During the special launch-event, whereby the embassy was lighted in orange, also a representative of UN Women spoke on ending gender-based violence: “The 16 Days Campaign comes at a crucial time in our society, as gender-based violence has increasingly gained visibility. This campaign is a drive for change as we all act together toward one same goal: ending impunity, silence, stigma and shame that have allowed the perpetuation of gender-based violence for too long. The discussion over gender-based violence is not over yet and we must remain aware of the prevalence and high costs of violence against women.”

During a panel discussion high school senior Peng Zhao joined in. He participated in a special Peer Education program on gender equality in Beijing, which addresses the challenges of battling gender-based violence: “We are enabling the discussion and making sure that also in schools, people can speak up.” The Netherlands is a firm supporter of education to end gender-based violence. Whether it is breaking up stereotypes or enabling youth to stand up against violence. As such, in Dutch schools there are many special programs to educate and open up the discussion.

But also worldwide the Netherlands asks for more awareness for equal rights for women and girls and gender-based violence. A joint approach with international organizations such as the EU or the UN is key to make an impact. For the European Union, many actions have been taken to end the global challenge of gender-based violence. “Global challenges require global solutions that can best be formulated and then implemented working closely together with our international partners and through effective multilateralism. Through projects with the OECD, the Council of Europe, UN Women the EU is stepping up their cooperation to join the global effort to fight violence against women.”

About Orange the World

The complete campaign lasts 16 days, until December 10, during which the Embassy and her partners will raise awareness for gender-based violence. To keep up to date, you can follow the Embassy on Twitter or Weibo.