The 2013 Orange Day (October 25) was observed worldwide under the heading “Safe Public Spaces for Women and Girls”, said UN Women on October 25.

According to the agency, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in July 2012 proclaimed the 25 th day of every month as Orange Day in order to raise public awareness and promote practical activities to prevent and end violence against women and girls.

T his year, Orange Day activities have been focusing on highlighting recommendations of the agreed conclusions of the 57th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW57) which took place in March this year.

In April, the Orange Day took on the theme of ‘Safe Work Places for Women and Girls’, in May, ‘Safe Homes for Women and Girls’ while in June, Orange Day focused on ‘State Custody and Care as Safe Spaces’ . In July it drew attention to ‘ Cyber Space as Safe Space for Women and Girls’ while the theme for August was ‘ Sexual Violence against Women and Girls in Conflict’ . The theme for Orange Day in September was ‘ Safe Schools for Girls’.

Many women and girls are facing violence as well as sexual harassment and abuse in public places such as schools, streets and public transport, as well as at the hands of family members.

Violence and the fear of violence have obstructed women’s development and reduced the use of public transport while negatively affecting health, spiritual life and the basic human rights of women and girls.

The “Safe and Friendly City for Girls” report launched by PLAN International, Women in Cities International and UN Habitat in Hanoi last year showed that only 16 percent of girls surveyed feel safe in public places, eight percent feel safe on the bus, while 30 percent never feel safe when walking.-VNA