Halton’s Mersey Gateway Bridge and other iconic landmarks across the Liverpool City Region was illuminated bright orange tonight [Wednesday November], as part of an international campaign aimed at tackling violence against women. supported by Halton Borough Council.

Liverpool Town Hall, St George’s Hall, World Museum Liverpool, Merseyside Police Headquarters, the Greystone Footbridge in Knowsley and the Mersey Gateway Bridge in Halton were all lit to mark the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the start of the United Nation’s annual 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.

The spectacle has been organised by Merseyside-based Savera UK, which tackles harmful practices such as ‘honour’-based abuse (HBA), female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage across the UK and Zonta International, a global organisation that stands for women’s rights and advocates for equality, education and an end to child marriage and gender-based violence.

The UN #16Days campaign ends on Thursday 10th December, Human Rights Day, when a number of the participating landmarks in the region are expected to once again light up orange in a show of solidarity and support.

Last year, Zonta International marked the campaign period with its successful #ZONTASAYSNO initiative, which saw London’s Marble Arch lit orange alongside buildings in cities and towns in countries including the United States, Australia and across Europe.

The organisation was introduced to Savera UK by Liverpool-based peer-to-peer organisation, iWoman. This will be the first time Zonta International has extended the initiative outside of London in the UK.

Afrah Qassim, CEO and Founder of Savera UK, said: “Violence against women and girls is an enormous global issue. It takes place in all countries and cultures and renders streets, workplaces and even homes unsafe.

Worldwide, it is estimated that 35 per cent of women have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives.

“In the case of culturally-specific forms of abuse that Savera UK tackles, such as ‘honour’-based abuse and forced/child marriage, women are disproportionately affected.

“It is absolutely vital that we continue to raise awareness for the ongoing fight to eliminate gender-based violence. We are delighted to be collaborating on this project with Zonta International and coming together with Liverpool City Council, Halton Borough Council, Merseyside Police and the teams behind these iconic Liverpool landmarks to speak out together and offer a sign of hope to survivors and women and girls still living in abusive environments.”

Halton Borough Council’s Executive Board Member for Community Safety, Cllr Dave Cargill, said: “Any form of domestic violence whether physical, sexual or psychological is not acceptable and we will continue to work to find effective ways to tackle this.”

Dianne Jeans, Advocacy Committee, Zonta Club of London, said: “Zonta International is dedicated to standing up to gender-based violence through its Zonta says NO campaign. During the 2020 UN 16 days of activism Zontians all around the globe will be taking part in events to ‘orange the world’ and shine a light on the hidden pandemic of violence against women. Here in the UK, the Zonta Club of London is encouraging local councils to light landmark structures orange to provide a symbol of hope and support for those that are affected by violence every day. We applaud the actions in Liverpool to highlight this issue.”

*Source: UN Women –


For further information please contact Nikki Girvan on 078 34072989 or email

Notes to Editors

About Savera UK & Savera UK Youth

Savera UK is one of the leading charities tackling culturally-specific abuse in the UK, including forced marriage and female genital mutilation. It campaigns to eliminate ‘honour’-based abuse and harmful practices and provide life-saving services to those at risk, regardless of age, culture, sexuality or gender. Its Savera UK Youth programme was established in 2017 to empower and inspire the next generation and encourage them to speak out and advocate for its work.

About Zonta International

The Zonta Club of London ( is part of Zonta International (, a global organisation which empowers women through service and advocacy. Zonta advocates for equality, education and an end to child marriage and gender-based violence. Zonta partners each year with the UN on the 16 days of activism against gender based violence and the Orange the World initiative to bring global attention to the pandemic of violence against women.

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