In honor of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, the United States Embassy in Islamabad will be illuminated with orange lights for several nights. Orange is the official color of the United Nations’ UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, which aims to raise public awareness, increase political will and garner resources to prevent and end all forms of violence against women and girls in every part of the world. Since the inception of the 16 Days of Activism, more than 20 years ago, the color orange has been used to symbolize a brighter future, free from violence, for all women and girls.
The annual campaign, launched in 1991 by the Center for Women's Global Leadership at Rutgers University in the United States, runs from the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25 to International Human Rights Day on December 10. The campaign’s timing symbolically links the prevention of violence against women with broader human rights issues.
In recognition of this year’s campaign and the U.S. Embassy’s initiative, Ambassador David Hale reflected on his time in Pakistan, including the many inspiring and energetic Pakistani people he has met who are advocating for the rights of women and minorities.
A view of the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, illuminated with an orange light in recognition of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence. [State Department photo]
The U.S. Embassy supports women's rights in Pakistan through a wide range of programs, such as the U.S. Agency for International Development's Gender Equity Project and a new partnership with the Women Win organization to empower adolescent girls to exercise their rights.
As Secretary Kerry said in a statement marking the international day, “The United States is proud to be part of these efforts. Throughout the Obama Administration we have stood in solidarity with survivors while investing in the kind of infrastructures that are needed to prevent and respond to gender-based violence and address the harmful norms and stereotypes that often perpetuate it…at home, and abroad.
About the Author: Kristen Hawkins is a Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy Islamabad.
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