BKMC co-hosts the event “Evolving beyond Trauma” as part of the Orange the World Campaign 2019

“The world needs to heal from trauma.” – Elena Castellucci, Past-President Juvenilia Club Vienna, Soroptimist International Austria, founding member TANKA Solutions.
On the occasion of the UN Women campaign “Orange The World”, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens brought together an event Orange the World 2019: Evolving Beyond Trauma with partners Juvenilia Club Vienna, Soroptimist International Vienna on December 3, 2019. Every fifth woman in Austria – around 20 percent of all women – is exposed to physical and/or sexual violence from the age of 15. One in three women had to experience some form of sexual harassment since they were 15 years old. Every seventh woman is affected by stalking from the age of 15. Many women experience traumas that accompany them throughout their lives. The events included keynote speeches and a panel discussion on trauma of female victims of violence against women including domestic violence. This topic was addressed by a jury of internationally acclaimed experts who will speak openly about their personal, unfiltered stories and share their knowledge and valuable insights into this complex topic.

Co-chair Heinz Fischer delivered a keynote speech and stressed three important points:

  • Education and Information
  • Safe space (which should be funded by the government)
  • Awareness (which should create solidarity, help, understanding, and courage)
Elena Castellucci, Past-President Juvenilia Club Vienna, Soroptimist International Austria, founding member TANKA Solutions, said during the opening that we need to create a shift and decrease the amount of trauma by creating a real support system.” Before the panel discussion, an actress and author Erika Pluhar read an excerpt from one of her books “Raising the Voice.” Many inspiring stellar speakers were there to support the victims because talking about trauma requires courage and learning about it requires compassion. Speakers: Elena Castellucci, Past-President Juvenilia Club Vienna, Soroptimist International Austria, founding member of TANKA Solutions Co-chair Heinz Fischer, Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, former President of Austria Dr. Desiree Schweitzer, UN Women Austria Marcella Sigmund-Graff, President of the Austrian Union, Soroptimist International Austria Reading: Erika Pluhar Panel discussion: Kimberly Budinsky, moderator Sean McCarthy, Founder of TEDS Foundation, CEO of Tanka Solutions & HolisticHealth Coach Louise Deininger, Conceptual Artist & Founder of GYCO Sharon Anena, GYCO Administration Manager & Chief Assistant, Founder of Julias Heart CBO Rania Mustafa Ali, Jornalist & Documentarist Dr. Susanne Hölbfer, Senior Physician Gynecology at Wilhelminenspital Serani Siegel, Project Manager in the Gender Section of the Office of the OSCE Secretary General Source: UN Women

BKMC Holds the Reception marking the Launch #OrangeTheWorld Campaign in Austria

November 25 marks the International Day for the Eliminating of Violence against Women and the start of 16 Days of Activism to put an end to violence against women. Every year, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens cooperates with UN Women Austria, Soroptimist International Austria and HeForShe Graz to implement the global #OrangeTheWorld Campaign in Austria to raise awareness of the fact that women around the world are subject to rape, domestic violence and other forms of violence. On November 25, BKMC successfully launched the campaign of 2019 in the Centre. Co-chair Heinz Fischer and CEO Monika Froehler delivered welcome remarks, while Co-chair Ban Ki-moon sent words of appreciation with a video message. Representatives of the co-organizers Eliette Thurn from Soroptimist International Austria and Marcela Muniz Pivaral from UN Women Austria stressed the urgency of raising awareness for this topic. Head of HeForShe Graz, Bernhard Gollob, moderated a panel discussion with representatives from Austrian Victim Support Groups, entities that are based in Austrian hospitals and that are essential for detecting and preventing violence against women. We were grateful to our partners without whom it would not be possible to achieve such a large-scale contribution on behalf of Austria to this global campaign. © BKMC / Eugenie Berger

Launch of the “Orange the World” Campaign at the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens

Since 2015 the “Orange the World” campaign takes place during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based violence. From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day the world’s most prominent monuments and buildings light up in the color orange to raise awareness and to represent a brighter future, free from violence against women and girls. In Austria, the campaign is executed in a collaborative effort by the UN Women National Comittee Austria, Soroptimist International Austria, and HeForShe Graz. During the 16 days over 70 famous buildings and monuments will be illuminated in orange, ensuring that every region of Austria pays tribute to the cause. This year, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens joined forces and hosted the launch of the campaign on 21 November. Co-Chair Heinz Fischer opened the event with a keynote about the history of women’s rights activism in Austria. 2018 is a symbollic year for the status of women for Austria, as it marks the 100th anniversary of female suffrage. Furthermore, our Co-Chair stressed that the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence serve to prepare ourselves to stand strong against violence against women during the entire year. Co-Chair Ban Ki-moon surprised the guests of the event, congratulating them on their contributions to the campaign in a video message:
Violence against women and girls takes many forms and is still widespread throughout the globe. It includes rape, domestic violence, harassment at work, abuse in school, female genital mutilation and sexual violence in armed conflicts. It is predominantly inflicted by men.
He continued,
It fills me with joy and pride that Austria, my second home, will shine bright in orange during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence and will stand strong in the fight against violence against women.
Subsequently, Desiree Schweitzer, president of the Austrian UN Women National Comittee and Head of Development Cooperation in the Austrian Foreign Ministry, and Marcella Sigmund-Graff, president of Soroptimist International Austria, empasized the importance of continued activism against violence against women, pointing to the fact that every thrid woman world wide suffers from sexual or physical violence at least once in her life. In the end, Ban Ki-moon Centre CEO Monika Fröhler interviewed Anja Weisi-Michelitsch and Dr. Matthias Beitl, who will participate in the campaign by illuminating the Vienna based Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art and several smaller museums in the rural areas of the Austrian region Styria. Guests were also able to enjoy musical interludes by violinist Sophia Hahn and pianist Richard Reiter. This year, the theme of “Orange the World” is #HearMeToo. UN Women writes:
in recent months we have reached a tipping point, in large part due to the determination and bravery of grassroots activists and survivors and global social media conversation such as “#MeToo”, “#TimesUp”, “#BalanceTonPorc” “#NiUnaMenos”, #MetooIndia and “HollaBack!”. At the same time, we are experiencing a concerted pushback against women’s rights, human rights defenders and a shrinking civic space that threatens the progress achieved so far. Both trends point to one reality: no country, no organization is immune to sexual harassment and violence, and women and girls from all corners of the world still experience gender-based violence and abuse.
The Ban Ki-moon Centre is looking forward to an impactful campaign, not only in Austria, but worldwide. Only together we can achieve a gender-just world. Photo: © Yazan Majananini