On 14 February 2013, people from around the world will join together to take a stand against violence against women.
But they won’t be marching. Nor will they be organising sit-ins.
These women, men, girls and boys will be dancing.
The One Billion Rising global day of action is the latest campaign by award-winning American playwright and gender activist Eve Ensler and V-Day, the international movement she founded to stop violence against women and girls.
Launched in the wake of Republican senator Todd Akin’s remarkable comments about ‘legitimate rape’, the date of One Billion Rising marks the fifteenth anniversary of the V-Day initiative, best known for inspiring the global phenomenon that is The Vagina Monologues.
On 14 February, it is hoped that as many as one billion people will ‘rise’; that they will walk out of their homes, their places of work and their schools in an act of protest of the crimes committed against the female body, and they will ‘strike, dance, rise’.
The number is significant. One in three women will be raped or beaten over the course of her life.
From a global population of over three billion women that equals more than one billion people.
But as Ensler says, one billion women violated is an atrocity. One billion women dancing is a revolution.
This February, there will be thousands of events taking place across the world to commemorate the victims of violence but also to celebrate its survivors.
As well as dance protests, there will be concerts, parties and flash mobs. So far more than 5,000 organisations, from human rights NGOs to trade unions, have pledged their support.
For a full list of events and supporters, visit www.onebillionrising.org.
Gender-based violence is the most pervasive and persistent violation of human rights, manifesting itself in everything from domestic abuse and rape to genital-mutilation, honour killings and child trafficking.
Equal Times has just published a report on violence against women presenting a truly global picture of this phenomenon.
Featuring four stories originally published in November to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, our report depicts attacks on trade union activists in Colombia, rape survivors in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the persecution and jailing of female trade unionists in Turkey and violence against domestic workers in the Middle East.
And in the wake of the global outcry following the brutal murder of Jyoti Singh Pandey, the 23-year-old Indian medical student who was gang raped and then thrown off a moving bus in New Delhi, the report also features a fifth story on the threat of violence facing India’s female workforce.
While the violence suffered by the women in these stories is at times overwhelming, the tenacity and resistance of these women as individuals and the collective fight-back is hugely inspiring.
We celebrate them and on 14 February, we hope you will too.