The voices of both women and men from villages across India were heard as they made the decision to take part in UN Women’s 16-day campaign of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. With partners around the world, they carried the theme of “Orange the World: End Violence against Women and Girls”.
Dr Bhavani Rao is the UNESCO Chair in Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita University). With AMMACHI Labs staff in the villages, they were able to galvanize people to record moving video messages with their phones. Participants spoke about the urgent need to denounce gender-based violence and called for unity and activism.
For many reasons, women in rural areas across India face harsh challenges when it comes to violence against women. These include dealing with domestic violence and partner substance abuse while living in isolated regions and poverty.
The UN campaign ended with International Human Rights Day, which occurs every year on December 10th. For 2020, the movement carried with it the urgent need to reach out to survivors of violence during the COVID-19 crisis.
UNESCO New Delhi formally acknowledged Amrita University’s efforts by sending a letter of commendation for the inspiring messages and the completion of a very successful campaign.
“On behalf of UNESCO New Delhi, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you for your extraordinary efforts in steering, ‘Orange the world campaign against gender-based violence’ through powerful and inspiring video messages from the champions who have been promoting women’s empowerment and gender equality across India,” wrote Eric Falt, Director and UNESCO Representative.