Friday, May 12, 2017

Say No to Violence Against Women -- Tetovo Event with Zonta, Forumi Gruas and my "Democracy and Civil Society" students -- ORANGE DAY

Students in my "Democracy and Civil Society" class at the State University in Tetovo, Zonta Club Skopje, Zonta Club Pinellas (Florida, USA), and the University of South Florida St. Petersburg Center for Civic Engagement teamed up with US Peace Corps Volunteer Maria and the Forumi Gruas (Women's Center) in Tetovo to organize an event to draw attention for the need to Say No to Violence Against Women and Girls.

We were a group of ethnic Albanians, Macedonians, and Americans - all united in promoting women's rights.  (You will see our signs, literature, and t-shirts are in all three languages.)

This campaign is part of a global campaign to raise awareness -- Orange the World -- started by the UN Secretary General to raise awareness and to inspire others to take action. The 25th of every month has been designated as Orange Day.  We celebrated a bit early - so we could include students before they leave for the summer.  Here is more from the UN about Orange Day:

It was a beautiful spring day for our visibility event in the main square of Tetovo. (Special thanks to Mayor Arifi and the International Relations Office of the Cabinet of the Mayor for helping us process the paperwork for our permit!)

We were also appreciative that three TV stations came to cover the event - in Macedonian and in Albanian languages - so that more people in Macedonia could learn about this important issue - and about what resources exist to help women in need.  Here are links to the Televizija Kiss, Teleizioni Koha and TV Usanka segments about our event in Tetovo:

Televizija Kiss coverage of the event

Televizioni Koha Tetove segment on the event

TV Usanka coverage of the event

For more about our class field trip to the Forumi Gruas legal clinic, see this Field Trip to Forumu Gruas blog post  and for more about my initial meeting with US Peace Corps Volunteer to learn more about her work with Forumi Gruas, see this  meeting with Peace Corps Volunteer Maria to learn about Forumi Gruas

The Zonta Skopje facebook page:

From the UNiTE to End Violence Against Women website:

"The 25th of every month has been designated “Orange Day” by the United Nations Secretary-General’s Campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women, to raise awareness and take action to end violence against women and girls. As a bright and optimistic colour, orange represents a future free from violence against women and girls for the UNiTE Campaign. Orange Day calls upon civil society, governments, and UN partners to mobilize people and highlight issues relevant to preventing and ending violence against women and girls, not only once a year on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November), but every month."

Some statistics cited by the UN regarding the economic impact of violence against women:


with Lolita (Zonta Club Skopje President), Gjylia (professor at the State University) and Xhane (the Director of Forumi Gruas)

Gjylia (professor), Antigona (Forumi Gruas), Maria (US Peace Corps Volunteer)

with Lolita (Zonta Club Skopje President, Xhane (the Forumi Gruas President), and Maria (US Peace Corps Volunteer)

two of my students from the "Democracy and Civil Society" class -- Irfan and Beart -- our semester was over 2 weeks ago -- but we are still meeting and working on projects. Because. Learning!


with my students Irfan and Beart

with Maria, US Peace Corps Volunteer

with Maki (the Rector's wife, of the State University) and Gjylia (professor)

Verica (the lead attorney for Forumi Gruas) stops by

 The Peace Corps Macedonia also shared more about this event on its facebook page:

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