Orange the World: NO to violence against women 

 
 
The European Parliament is lit up in orange to join the UN Orange the World campaign to end violence against women and girls  

The European Parliament is again joining the UN's Orange the World campaign to combat violence against women.

On 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the Parliament lit up its buildings in orange to raise awareness about gender-based violence. This year already alarming figures on violence against women, especially domestic abuse, increased as a consequence of lockdown measures in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Violence against women in the EU 
  • One third of women in the EU have experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15 
  • 35% of women in the EU have experienced controlling behaviour from their current or previous partner 
  • About 50 women lose their lives to domestic violence every week 
  • Some 74% of Europeans believe that violence against women is common in their country 

In his statement to mark Orange the World, Parliament President David Sassoli said that the Covid crisis had worsened gender based violence: “This year the Covid-19 crisis has revealed and intensified this violence, especially domestic violence. Often this happened in a hidden way behind closed doors, with no possibility of escape.”


During a debate on Wednesday morning, Parliament again said violence against women must end. MEPs urged EU countries that have not yet ratified the Istanbul Convention to do so. They also advocate stronger EU action to tackle gender-based violence. Parliament has consistently taken a strong stance on the matter and repeatedly called for EU accession to the Convention.

We need to talk about it to help victims break the silence, to express our commitment to non-violence and equality and, above all, to put an end to it

David Sassoli 

President of the European Parliament

What is the Istanbul Convention? 
  • A convention by the Council of Europe on preventing and combating violence against women 
  • The first legally binding international instrument, establishing a comprehensive framework of measures for preventing violence, supporting victims and punishing perpetrators 
  • The EU signed the Convention 13 June 2017 
  • Six EU countries have signed, but not ratified it yet: Bulgaria, Czechia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia