Lotus Tower turns orange
By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan
In solidarity with the “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV)” that started yesterday (25), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Sri Lanka with support from the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) lit up South Asia’s tallest structure, the Lotus Tower, which turned orange in their ‘Orange the World’ campaign.
The ‘16 Days of Activism against GBV’ is for the victims and survivors of sexual and GBV during COVID-19, the UNFPA noted.
The global campaign coincides with The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and goes on till 10 December (World Human Rights Day).
Throughout these 16 days, Governments, UN agencies, civil societies and activists are set to raise awareness on this issue. It also gives the world the opportunity to pay tribute to the frontline health workers and service providers who strive to create a safer world for all, whilst calling for action by policymakers to prioritise this issue even amidst the pandemic because the world cannot prosper if a home is not safe for women and girls.
GBV is a human rights violation which exacerbates existing inequalities for women and girls. Countless women experiencing domestic violence suddenly found themselves confined at home along with the perpetrators of this crime during COVID-19. It has also severely disrupted access to life-saving sexual and reproductive health services and hampered the authorities’ ability to respond to GBV. Many women’s shelters were also reaching capacity due to a rise in the number of calls made to the national helpline and hotlines, by those seeking help. Many cases go unreported due to fear and stigma. There are multiple impacts on women’s mental health and well-being, their sexual and reproductive health and rights, and their ability to participate in the recovery process for COVID-19.