Half of Burj Khalifa tower goes dark; here’s why

Dubai: Visitors and residents in Downtown Dubai were surprised to see the top half of the world’s tallest tower plunged in darkness recently.

The UAE’s Burj Khalifa tower switched off half of its lights on Tuesday night as a show of support for a global movement initiated by the United Nations (UN).

The top half of the building went dark, while the bottom half was lit up in bright white. The symbolic move is a show of support for the campaign dubbed “HeForShe,” which seeks to encourage men to support calls for gender equality.

The stark contrast displayed on the UAE landmark provides a visual metaphor of what the world is like if women are excluded from society, according to organisers.

“We are delighted that the UAE is participating in this global campaign to inspire action on gender equality,” said Dar. Mouza Al Shehhi, director of UN Women UAE liaison office for the GCC.

“The UAE is pioneer in championing women’s rights and has taken great strides towards gender equality… This campaign is part of our ongoing efforts, to ensure that the entire public and especially men, not only celebrate the achievements, but also appreciate the struggles, which still face women today.”

While a number of women have made great strides in the society and enjoy equal rights with men, many others continue to suffer discrimination and violence.

About one in five women and girls between the ages of 15 and 49 have reported experiencing physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner within a 12-month period, according to recent report by the Sustainable Development Agenda.

There are also at least 49 countries that have no laws in place to protect women against violence that happens inside their homes.

“Progress is occurring regarding harmful practices such as child marriage and female genital mutilation. Which has declined by 30 per cent in the past decade, but there is still much work to be done to completely eliminate such practices.”


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