Wallasey Town Hall lit orange to support global call to end gender-based violence and abuse

Wallasey Town Hall will illuminate orange from today, Thursday 25 November, until Friday 10 December, alongside other iconic buildings and landmarks across the Liverpool City Region, as part of a global United Nations campaign aimed at ending gender-based violence and abuse.

For the second consecutive year, Savera UK, a Merseyside-based leading charity that tackles culturally-specific abuse such as ‘honour’-based abuse (HBA), forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM), has joined forces with Zonta Club London (part of Zonta International) to support the global ‘Orange The World’ campaign.

The two organisations are partnering to raise awareness of gender-based violence and abuse in the UK and around the world, through a series of events and initiatives that will take place during the United Nation’s 16 Days of Activism, which run from the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls on 25 November to Human Rights Day on 10 December.

The campaign will begin with the illumination of landmarks in the Liverpool City Region and beyond in memory of all those lost to male violence, but also as a symbol of hope for a brighter future free of fear. Landmarks being illuminated include Liverpool Town HallSt George’s HallCunard Building, World Museum LiverpoolMerseyside Police Headquarters, Rose Hill and its Canning Place offices, Greystone Footbridge in Knowsley, Mersey Gateway Bridge in Halton and Wallasey Town Hall in Wirral. Everton FC will support the campaign by illuminating Goodison Park in solidarity, while Sefton Council will be “lighting up digitally” on 25th November to mark the start of the 16 days of the campaign. Outside of the city region, buildings in Birmingham and Manchester will also illuminate in support of the campaign.

Individuals are also being invited to light an orange candle or light at home after sunset and place it in a window, as a mark of remembrance and symbol of hope.

Savera UK and Zonta London’s campaign also features an activism toolkit that will make it easier for people to participate in and engage with the 16 days of activism. The toolkit addresses themes such as allyship, advocacy and knowledge, and includes a bank of resources including social media assets and fact sheets, information about local and national organisations tackling gender-based violence, and events  that people can attend to learn more.

The campaign will culminate in an online panel discussion on Thursday 9 December (4pm – 6pm)Culture is Beautiful: No Excuse for Abuse , which will tackle the harmful ways that culture is wrongly conflated with human rights abuses against women and girls.

Savera UK CEO and founder, Afrah Qassim and Britt Gustawsson of Zonta International will be joined by a panel including Mansi Mehta, Deputy Director, Global Cause Partnerships from UNICEF USA, Dr Elham Manea from Zurich University, a political scientist specialised on the Arab Middle East, Nazir Afzal OBE, former Chief Prosecutor for the North West (UK) and Savera UK patron, and Dr Leyla Hussein OBE, a psychotherapist, specialising in supporting survivors of sexual abuse.

This year’s campaign ‘Orange the World’ campaign is more vital than ever, as violence against women remains devastatingly pervasive in our society. In the 28 weeks following the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard on 3rd March this year, 81 other women were killed in circumstances where the suspect is a man.

A recently-released government survey also found that 97% of 18–24-year-old women have been sexually harassed, while 80% of all women have been sexually harassed in public.                           

Savera UK CEO and Founder, Afrah Qassim, said, “The statistics about gender-based violence are shocking yet, sadly, no longer surprising. Across their lifetime, 1 in 3 women – around 736 million – will be subjected to physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner or sexual violence from a non-partner. This figure has remained largely unchanged over the last 10 years.

“It has never been more important for people to take action against gender-based violence. Activism takes many forms and even the smallest steps, such as educating yourself about different forms of abuse or identifying yourself as an ally can have an enormous impact. Our Orange the World toolkit provides a starting point for people to enact change.”

Zonta Club London President, Anne-Li Stjernholm, said, “As organisations Savera UK and Zonta Club London are very much aligned on our aim to promote a world without violence against women and girls and this partnership is very valuable for us. We hope it will last for many years to come and that we can expand our reach. Speaking with one voice makes our message so much stronger.”

To find out more about the Orange the World 2021 campaign and download the toolkit, visit: https://www.saverauk.co.uk/orange-the-world-2021/

Image credit: Wirral Council

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