In 2015, the world united to build the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which addresses thee dimensions of development; social, economical and environmental. With 17 goals and 169 targets, gender equality is one of the key priority agenda agreed upon by all the member states. The goal 5 of the agenda states, “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”, which specifically includes the targeting the issue of violence against all girls and women. While November 25th remains the official date for International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women, the UN Secretary General proposed a campaign UNiTE to End Violence Against Women that marks 25th of every month as Orange day, to spread more awareness amongst the masses.
In India, in the year 2015, 2.24 million crimes were reported against women, 26 crimes every hour and one complaint every two, as reported by IndiaSpend analysis. There was also another report by UNODC (United Nations Office of Drugs and Crimes) that stated the higher rate of physical violence against women by men who consumed drugs.
Women are also unsafe in their offices, and that is why this Orange Day will highlight that particular concern. Violence against women at work place can take any form, including sexual harassment and even bullying. United Nations aims at bringing this issue to light and generating dialogue, discussion and awareness amongst people to find solutions for the same.
While law protects many women, there are numerous women who work in the informal sector and are not technically “employees” of a company. In India itself, there are many women laborers who take up small, informal jobs to sustain themselves and their family, but have no law protecting them (in terms of an employee of a company).
There is something called a Women’s Empowerment Principles which is a collaborative work by UN Women and UN Global Compact, that offer guidance on how women can be empowered at work places. A definite must read for those working in the corporate sector, as this will help the purpose of women empowerment.
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