Story by Carol Feeney
Belleville is now part of a global effort, Orange the World, spearheaded by the United Nations and the Grandmothers Advocacy Network (GRAN) to end gender-based violence against women and girls. Each year, the United Nations addresses this issue with its UNiTE Campaign, the purpose of which is to raise awareness and take action to end violence against women and girls. A major part of this campaign is held during the 16 Days of Activism, November 25 – the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women until December 10 – International Human Rights Day.
At an event held at the Belleville Club, September 13, organized by Dr. Aruna Alexander, Founder and Chair of the United Nations Association Quinte Branch, Jan Sosiak, GRAN and Sharon Van Clief, Quinte Grannies for Africa, Mayor Taso Christopher proclaimed that Belleville will be participating on November 25 to December 10 in the Orange the World Campaign. There will be a vigil on November 25 at Market Square and many Belleville landmarks will be lit up in orange until December 10 to raise awareness for The Orange Campaign.
In his remarks, Mayor Christopher commended Karen Poste, Manager of Economic Development and Strategic Initiatives, City of Belleville, for her efforts in supporting the campaign and stated that, as a father of three daughters and a husband, he understood its importance. Jan Sosiak commented that “during these 16 Days of Activism, UNiTE asks governments, organizations and people all over the world to intensify efforts to mobilize action domestically and globally.”
Dr. Aruna Alexander shared the United Nations perspective that,”the vision is for every woman to enjoy the same fundamental rights based on the values of equality, non-discrimination , inclusion and human dignity.”
So, if you are wondering why Belleville will light up its BELLEVILLE sign and other landmarks in orange during this time, when it is traditionally the colours of the holiday season, you can be proud that we are engaged in an international movement to end gender-based violence against women and girls in our community and around the world.