V-Day’s ONE BILLION RISING is Biggest Global Action Ever To End Violence Against Women and Girls
February 20, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sriya Karumanchi / Group SJR
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Susan Celia Swan / V-Day
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V-Day’s ONE BILLION RISING is Biggest Global Action Ever
To End Violence Against Women and Girls
Campaign Spread Across the Planet on 14 February 2013,
Tens of Thousands of Events Held in 207 Countries
From a Debate in UK Parliament to a Human Chain in Bangladesh, Dancing in Kabul and Tripoli to rallies in Steubenville, One Billion Rose in City Halls, Schools, Public Spaces, and More
(20 February 2013) – 14 February 2013 marked the largest global action in history to end violence against women and girls. V-Day’s ONE BILLION RISING campaign leveraged the strength of V-Day’s 15-year activist network to mobilize over a billion people worldwide, inspiring women and men in 207 countries to come together and express their outrage, and to strike, dance and RISE against violence.
“We did it! Together on 14 February, we expressed our outrage and joy and our firm global call for a world where women are free and safe and cherished and equal,” stated V-Day Founder and award winning playwright Eve Ensler. “One Billion Rising brought together coalitions of groups and individuals that have never worked together before and galvanized new supporters and associations and masses of men who were not previously engaged, but now see violence as their issue. It did all of this while putting violence against women to the center of the global discussion. One Billion Rising has broken taboos, lifted the veil of silence, and inspired a radical outpouring of support to reveal the worldwide system of patriarchy, which sustains the violence. One Billion Rising has shown that violence against women is not a national, tribal, ethnic, or religious issue, but a global phenomenon, and that through this worldwide rising and support, survivors can be given the confidence of knowing that violence is not their fault.”
The campaign — which also marked V-Day’s 15th anniversary — mobilized far and wide. With the motto “it’s not branding, but expanding,” groups worldwide joined the call to action, including marginalized communities such as migrant workers, domestic workers, urban poor, farm workers, the LGBT community, and the disabled. With tens of thousands of events – from the steps of British Parliament to the streets of Mexico City, from the expanse of the Brooklyn Bridge to living rooms in Iran, One Billion Rising was an epic event spanning the 48-hour period of 14 February across time zones. The campaign received the support of entities from the Dalai Lama to the United Nations, trended on Twitter, and inspired flash mobs across the globe, uniting people in a spectacular and unprecedented way.
“One Billion Rising is a joyous recognition of the sacred and how it must never be made profane by any person, institution or government. Violence and oppression of women is the core wound that foreshadows all other problems in the world, from poverty to war to destruction of the environment. Rising is not only a dance, it is the birth of a future, “said Paul Hawken, renowned environmentalist and author of Blessed Unrest.
One Billion Rising succeeded in creating visibility and understanding of the interconnection between issues such as poverty, corruption, greed, environmental plunder, imperialism, religious marginalization, immigration, labor, and political repression, and violence against women.
“The next day, ending violence against women was on the lips of every person in Mexico,” said Andrés Naime, One Billion Rising Mexico campaign organizer.
The campaign has already spurred governments to invite local women to the table to discuss the issue of violence against women, garnered unparalleled international media attention and discourse, highlighted the push to pass the Violence Against Women Act in the U.S. Congress, and brought about a new level of awareness that the time to act is now.
In the UK, MP Stella Creasy introduced legislation for national sex education in schools tied to One Billon Rising. In Washington D.C., activists gathered and danced at Farragut Square to Rise for VAWA. The week before, the European Parliament plenary voted the resolution “Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls” inspired by One Billion Rising activities.
One Billion Rising is the beginning of the new world ignited by a new energy. It is not the end of a struggle but the escalation of it, so V-Day asks those who rose around the globe to take a simple pledge, to do one thing in the next year to end violence against women. It could be a simple action, or a monumental one; personal, or political; quiet or loud, but these actions – taken together – will create change.
One Billion Rising will continue to grow and expand, not to become an annual holiday, but to catalyze the energy that has been activated on 14 February 2013.
The campaign was active across a multitude of social channels including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Google+, and Thunderclap, as activists worldwide shared photos, videos, and pledges of support. The#1BillionRising hashtag trended in seven countries, including several times in the United States, and in Peru, South Africa, India, and the United Kingdom.
Influential supporters including The United Nations and the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, V-Day board members Rosario Dawson, Jane Fonda, Anne Hathaway, Thandie Newton and Kerry Washington, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, U.S. House Minority Leader Representative Nancy Pelosi, Prime Minister of Belgium Elio Di Rupo, , Russell Simmons, Katie Couric, Alicia Keys, and dozens of others around the world, used their social voice to speak up and support the campaign. To see a collection of tweets, visit www.rebelmouse.com/onebillionrising/
V-Day’s series of campaign videos went viral beginning in September with the One Billion Rising short film which has logged nearly a million views on YouTube, and in November, the One Billion Rising anthem music video “Break The Chain” was released; by 14 February , it had over 900,000 views.
One Billion Rising events were live streamed on onebillionrising.org on every continent except Antarctica (believe us, we tried), including Manila, New Delhi, Johannesburg, Banjul, Bukavu, Belgrade, Frome, Berne, San Remo, Atlanta, Chicago, Toronto, Hawaii, Miami, New York City, San Francisco, and many more.
GLOBAL MEDIA COVERAGE
The campaign was covered widely by media in all corners of world from The New York Times to The Times of India; from Somali television to the BBC World Service; from regional papers in Nebraska to National Public Radio; from The Christian Science Monitor to The Guardian live blog covering the day’s events. The Guardian and BBC had foreign correspondents covered One Billion Rising events and CNN iReport had their iReporters following the day of action. Wire services covered the story including The Associated Press.
In the lead-up to 14 February, Eve Ensler appeared on dozens of media programs and completed interviews and press conferences around the globe. The week before 14 February, Ensler participated in a global tele-press conference from City of Joy in the Democratic Republic of Congo with over 40 international journalists.
In addition, V-Day Board members and high profile supporters appeared on major national and international television programs to promote the campaign, including Anne Hathaway on “The Tonight Show” during which she danced with host Jay Leno and audience members, Jane Fonda on “Piers Morgan,” Rosario Dawson on “Lawrence O’Donnell,” Thandie Newton on BBC Channel 4, and CNN International, and Laura Flanders on “Democracy Now,” “Up with Chris Hayes,” and “Melissa Harris Perry.”
REACH ACROSS MULTI-SECTORS
The campaign reached across multiple sectors for maximum impact and engagement with activists in 207 countries organizing events and over 13,000 organizations around the globe having pledged their support, including Amnesty International USA, International Rescue Committee, NOW, Human Rights Campaign, AFL-CIO, European Women’s Lobby, WAVE (Women Against Violence Europe) Network, A Call to Men, Verein Autonome Österreichische Frauenhäuser, Centro de Informacion y Desarrollo de la Mujer (CIDEM), Isis Internacional, Asmita Resource Center for Women, and MTV.
Regional coordinators worked around the clock to build grassroots coalitions from Iran to Fiji bringing together people and groups who have never worked together – artists and ministers, bishops and sex workers, Zumba dancers and city council members –converging around a common goal – to eradicate violence against women and girls from the planet.
Union groups around the world rose up demanding an end to the violence and economic injustices that women suffer. Unite the Union in the UK, AFL-CIO and National Nurses United in the U.S., Kilusang Mayo Uno in the Philippines, and many more unions across the globe brought the labor movement into the Rising. Migrant farmworker groups across the U.S. joined the campaign and groups such as Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, Farmworker Justice, Centro de Derechos para Migrantes, Campesinos Sin Fronteras, and many more held events, not just for the women involved, but also for other labor women around the world.
HIGH PROFILE SUPPORT
Actors and V-Day board members Jane Fonda, Rosario Dawson, Donna Karan, Thandie Newton, Charlize Theron, Kerry Washington along with Jessica Alba, BETTY, Connie Britton, Kate Clinton, Glenn Close, Jason Day, Francesca Eastwood, Frances Fisher, Jarvis Green, Anne Hathaway, Bianca Jagger, Zoe Kravitz, Dylan McDermott, Kathy Najimy, Yoko Ono, Apollo Poetry, Robert Redford, Anoushka Shankar, Vandana Shiva, Sookee, KaDee Strickland, Marisa Tomei, Mario Testino, Lily Tomlin, Royce White, Monique Wilson, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, and more, activated their networks, attended One Billion Rising events, amplified the message across their social channels, and rose on 14 February.
Governments, politicians, and renowned figures from around the world including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, First Lady of Nepal, the Mayor of Lima, the Prime Minister of Australia and the President of Croatia, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Los Angeles City Council, British MP Stella Creasy, Vice President of the European Parliament, Isabelle Durant (Belgium), Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee joined the campaign.
The United Nations, in unison with its “UNiTE to End Violence Against Women Campaign,” observed One Billion Rising at UN Headquarters in New York City by encouraging staff to join forces and stand up to end violence against women.
EXAMPLES OF RISING
There were tens of thousands of events across the world including over 50 events in Turkey alone, over 100 in the UK and Italy respectively, and thousands in both India and the United States.
In Manila, the rising began at 7:00 am and activities took place throughout the day from schoolyards to the streets. In India, events ranged from large-scale dance protests to bus drivers stopping the buses for 10 minutes in acknowledgement of the campaign for the safety of women. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, thousands including the Governor of South Kivu and residents of City of Joy danced with V-Day Founder Eve Ensler.
In Mogadishu, Somalia, over 300 men, women and children gathered. The mayor, members of parliament, civil society, and V-Girls were just some of the people who spoke at this historic event, which was followed by a powerful reception hosted by the First Lady. In Tripoli, Libya, activists chose to rise and reclaim the “Siraya castle,” where Gadaffi had made his famous speech during the revolution advising the people and mercenaries to “sing, dance and do as they please,” interpreted as a call to rape women. Throughout Latin America, thousands of activists danced at major monuments and world heritage sites.
In San Francisco, over 4,000 people danced in front of City Hall and took the pledge, led by Mayor Ed Lee. In Steubenville, Ohio, women and men gathered and danced on the steps of the courthouse. In New York City, V-Day Board member Rosario Dawson, star supporters Glenn Close and Kathy Najimy, singers Maya Azucena, BETTY and Morley, DJs, and over 3,000 activists danced the night away to celebrate V-Day at Hammerstein Ballroom, where the very first V-Day benefit took place 15 years before. MTV and Amnesty International rose together in Times Square.
All around the world youth rose. Students created art, staged their own risings, and wrote poetry heralding in the new wave of anti-violence activism. Schoolchildren staged flash mobs to the One Billion Rising anthem “Break the Chain” in classrooms and schoolyards, working with teachers, school administrators and their communities.
CAPTURING ONE BILLION RISING IN PHOTOGRAPHY
Thousands of photos are being submitted via V-Day’s Facebook and Twitter. Visit www.onebillionrising.org/photos for images.
GLOBAL THANK YOU MESSAGE
V-Day issued the following statement to activists worldwide to acknowledge the efforts of those who made ONE BILLION RISING a success, and to keep momentum going in the weeks and months ahead:
The Biggest Mass Global Action To End Violence Against Women & Girls In The History Of Humankind
One Billion Rising is the beginning of the new world ignited by a new energy. It is not the end of a struggle but the escalation of it. NOW is the time to enact change. This is NOT an annual holiday, we are not waiting until 14 February 2014. NOW is the time to harness the power of your activism to change the world!
We celebrate these victories, and we hope you do too. Now ask yourself WHAT CAN I DO IMMEDIATELY TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS - and then go out and DO IT!
One Billion Rising was always conceived to be a catalyst and a wind rather than a new organization. So use it to fuel your next activities. Plan local actions for International Women’s Day, 8 March. Stay tuned for tips and actions!!
If you want to know where to direct your energies right now, you can stage a V-Day benefit in your community – visit vday.org/our-work/college-community-campaigns today!
The effects of One Billion Rising on the global issue of violence against women and girls are only beginning to be realized. Already, the campaign has:
Brought together people across movements and causes – mobilizing communities such as migrants, women in prison, domestic workers, urban poor, LGBTQI, farm workers, the disabled, and many more.
Created the opportunity for councils of indigenous women to participate in global problem solving.
Created global solidarity and strength cutting across borders, races, class, religions, sexual orientation, ages, genders. Reignited solidarity between women’s organizations in various countries. Rekindled the ethos of sisterhood amongst women on a global scale.
Brought to the surface the intersection of issues both causing and affecting violence against women: patriarchy, poverty, corporate greed, environmental plunder, imperialist policies, religion, militarization, interventions of outside countries, immigration, labor export policies, nationalization of industries, political repression.
Engaged masses on a deeper, more embodied level through dancing, poetry, singing, and art.
Produced massive media exposure, discourse, and advocacy on violence against women issues. It also created or was the catalyst for the development of millions of women citizen social media journalists telling their own narratives by picking up cameras.
Created solidarity and safe and free space, through our creativity and numbers, for violated women to tell their stories, many for the first time, and heal their trauma by dancing in public, communal open spaces.
Inspired millions of men to stand and rise as our allies, deconstructing patriarchy alongside us.
Galvanized and empowered legislators to generate legislation in support of ending violence against women and girls globally. Created an opportunity for globally linked women’s councils to lobby at all levels of government and UN.
Increased funding and support for programs and education to end violence and women and girls.
Made violence against women impossible to ignore and never to be marginalized again. Reminded the world that women united will never be defeated.
Generated the best collection of worldwide dance videos ever!
One Billion Rising news and press releases: www.onebillionrising.org/
Archive of One Billion Rising live-streamed events: www.onebillionrising.org/