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From 25 November to 10 December, the world colors orange during the international campaign Orange the World. The University of Amsterdam supports this worldwide campaign for the elimination of violence against women and girls. This year, we are supporting this battle by hoisting the Orange the World flag. We also call on you to be a bystander: everyone can help prevent violence.

Violence against women and girls is a problem all over the world. At least one woman in three has experienced violence in her life, which means that one billion women and girls have been subjected to physical, sexual or psychological violence. This happens not only far away, but also close by, at home and at universities.

In order to draw attention to this subject, the United Nations has designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The Orange the World campaign, in which more than 100 countries are participating, kicks off on this day and ends on 10 December. These are the ‘16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence’, internationally and in the Netherlands.

Various activities are organized in Amsterdam. EYE will light up orange in collaboration with the municipality of Amsterdam, just as the A’DAM tower and Heineken Experience (an initiative of their own). Around Orange the World and the Week against Child Abuse, activities are organized in various city districts about gender-based violence, domestic violence and child abuse. You will find an overview of all activities here.

Looking out for each other

The UvA wants to provide a safe environment where employees and students can be themselves and develop themselves, meet others and work together. A place where there is no room for discrimination, bullying, aggression, exclusion or intimidation.

Strengthening personal safety and security is a continuous focus and aims at improving information and awareness, help and support and the system of reports and complaints. The existing regulations for the ombudsperson, the counselors for undesirable behavior and the complaints procedure have recently been renewed.

On 21 October a campaign was launched on social safety aimed at raising awareness of, and helping to recognize and name undesirable behaviour, for and by everyone in the organization. This UvA campaign page Looking out for each other offers tools so you know what to do if you see or experience undesirable behaviour. Also a bystander training for managers is being offered.

In spring 2022 the Chief Diversity Officer team will offer a Bystander intervention or Allyship workshop with non-profit foundation Our Bodies Our Voice.

Sign the pledge: become a bystander

In 2021, the theme of the Orange the World campaign in the Netherlands will be prevention. Everyone can help prevent violence. You can also sign a contribution from OTW: the 'fellow-pledge'. If we are all allies, together we can end violence against women and girls. By signing the pledge, you promise that you too want to commit to fighting violence against women and girls, as a woman of the human being, as a professional or a bystander, as a friend, neighbor of colleague. The promise consists of five points:

  1. I do not use violence against women and girls
  2. I take women and girls who report violence seriously and support them in finding help
  3. I do what I can to make sure women and girls can feel safe
  4. I contribute to breaking the taboo around talking about violence against women
  5. I address people in my environment about transgressive behaviour