The campaign is organised by the Secretary General of the United Nations and the UN Women. You’re supposed to wear orange each month on the 25th till next March, when a Committee meetings is organised to erase violence against women.
Gender based violence is a serious global problem. The situation is not improved by the fact that we’re falling behind in exactly those UN Millennium Development Goals which aim to raise the well-being of women. Finland is however no exception from the rule: below one percent of the sexual domestic violence is reported to the police and only one fifth of the rapes reported to the police are taken to the court.
Violence against women can be tackled on the municipal level as well. One of my election themes is equality, and as part of it, fighting gender based violence. The City of Helsinki can have an impact by maintaining and adding to the support services for women who have experienced violence: for example the operation of round-the-clock women’s shelters must be ensured.
If we want to promote equality, we need adequate planning and resources. The City of Helsinki Equality Committee should be provided wider competences and adequate preparation work by civil servants. The Equality Plan is to be renewed from the beginning of next year, and this gives an excellent chance to make the plan more comprehensive and to create a proper monitoring system for it. A part of the equality work is the Gender Impact Assessment, which should be made part of all decision making.
The City of Helsinki is a significant actor on many sectors and an employer of thousands. For these reasons it’s important for the City of Helsinki to declare itself a Discrimination Free Zone. Joining the Campaign is a statement for equality.
It’s important to talk about gender based violence and other equality issues. That’s why you should wear orange, too!