How did you spend your Valentine’s Day?
Perhaps you were part of the One Billion Rising Movement.
2013’s Valentine’s day witnessed a global strike against gender-based violence that campaigned for intolerance against an abusive male dominated culture. One by One’s youth advocacy teams around the world extended an invitation to the people of the world to stand up, walk out, and dance in protest against the fact that one billion women are victims of violence in their lifetime.
“One In Three Women On The Planet Will Be Raped Or Beaten In Her Lifetime. One Billion Women Violated Is An Atrocity. One Billion Women Dancing is a Revolution.” -One Billion Rising Movement.
Eve Ensler, activist and author of Vagina Monologues, started the V-Day movement 15 years ago. Each year the chosen V-Day movement focuses on a different aspect of violence against women in order to raise awareness.
This year, Ensler spent V-day in the City of Joy, a facility she founded to help rape victims in the Congo.
Participating country were able to adapt this year’s V-Day to their country’s own political circumstances.
In Germany, events examined how sexual violence is handled in the criminal system.
In the UK, a parliamentary debate was held that highlighted sex and relationship education. U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron further joined in with his tweets about the movement.
In Afghanistan, women and men marched in protest against the women who are “sold and raped and subjected to other violence.”
In India, the anger over the gang rape and murder of a medical student in Delhi propelled tens of thousands to join rallies and dance events.
In Somalia, the Wardhigley district, and area of Mogadishu governed by a woman was filled with more than 300 women who danced and listened to poetry.
In Egypt, five events were held in which approximately 600 people danced and sang.
In the U.S., people around the country rose up to join the movement.
Miami’s Florida International University extended an invite to risers to gather, and The New World Center Soundscape Park planned a concert with plenty of space for dancing.
San Francisco’s Washington High, County Jail, City Hall, and Bay Area were full of dancers. Dance performances, poetry readings and flash mobs were held throughout the city.
“I am proud to rise with our city family and with people all over the world to demand an end to violence against women,” said San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón.
Even the U.S. government got in on the action. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the US House of Representatives, participated via tweets about the movement.
– Kasey Beduhn