One Billion Rising

Posted by Luis CdeBaca
February 14, 2013
Women Participate in One Billion Rising Campaign in Hyderabad, India

Today all over the world people -- men and women -- will rise in solidarity and call for an end to violence against women. Why is this happening? The rising started with a handful of advocates seeking to call global attention to the violence that is perpetrated against women and girls every day and it has been fueled by awareness and concern in communities around the world that this abuse is a serious human rights issue that must end. Communities are connected as never before by technology and social media -- and the result is a worldwide call to action.

Violence against women and girls undermines their full participation in society and is found and cuts across ethnicity, race, class, religion, education level, and international borders. The numbers are staggering. An estimated one in three women worldwide has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in their lifetime. Gender-based violence includes physical, sexual, and psychological abuse; threats; coercion; and economic deprivation, whether occurring in public or private life. Types of gender-based violence can include female infanticide; child sexual abuse; sexual coercion and abuse; neglect; domestic violence; elder abuse; and harmful traditional practices such as early and forced marriage, "honor killings," and female genital mutilation/cutting. Intimate partner violence is the most common form of violence against women, and nearly 50 percent of all sexual assaults worldwide are committed against girls 15 years of age and younger. Additionally, women and girls represent the majority of the tens of millions of victims of sex trafficking and forced labor.

The United States has put gender equality and the advancement of women and girls at the forefront of the three pillars of U.S. foreign policy -- diplomacy, development, and defense. This is embodied in the President's National Security Strategy, the Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development, and the 2010 U.S. Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), and the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security. President Obama ordered executive branch agencies to deepen their engagement and integrate preventing and responding to gender-based violence -- including human trafficking -- into foreign policy and foreign assistance efforts. In response, the United States launched the first-ever U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence in August of last year. The strategy lays out concrete objectives and actions to marshal the United States' expertise and capacity to address gender-based violence, and represents a multi-sector and whole of government approach -- one that includes the justice, legal, security, health, education, economic, social services, humanitarian, and development sectors.

The One Billion Rising campaign calls for an end to violence against women and girls. Today the campaign rises to demand an end to this violence and to demonstrate the movement's collective strength. On this day, the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons joins in solidarity with The Rising.



Mary S.
Indiana, USA
February 14, 2013

Mary S. in Indiana writes:

Please pass this bill. Does it really make a difference what nationality a woman is to need to protect her from violence. How about the little Pakistani girl who was shot? Did everyone care less about her being shot because she was not in the U.S.? If she were in the US, as many other women and girl children are,from the middle east country's, is it ok for their fathers to kill them for not staying with the old ways, even if they are not yet citizens? I just cannot understand anything that should prevent this bill from being passed.

Lee B.
New York, USA
February 15, 2013

Lee B. in New York writes:

What about holding men accountable to court orders and if they don't follow the exchange/timeshare/child support rules then throw them in jail, period. Family court timeline shouldn't be longer than criminal timeline. Family court should provide prosecutor especially when domestic violence is involved - criminals have more legal protection than physically or mentally battered wives!

February 15, 2013

Karen in Turkey writes:

I was shocked at how invisible the State Department and White House were with this event -- the single largest coordinated event in the history of the world. Respectfully, I thought Hillary's/John Kerry's State Department would be all over this on a global level.

I think American feminists are very aware of your efforts to support women worldwide. This would have been the perfect opportunity to make everyone else aware of it too. I feel like it was a HUGE opportunity forgone in the State of the Union speech and on VDay to make the entire world understand America's leadership on this issue.

Wouldn't it be cool if each Ambassador and their staff had hosted/or participated in a rising? Wouldn't it have been cool if they had each been tweeting all day everything American is doing to prevent violence against women worldwide? Wouldn't it have been cool if the national security people had been doing talk shows explaining to traditional defense hawks why more equality for women worldwide makes for a safer America? I say this with friendly respect because I do appreciate your service.

New York, USA
February 15, 2013

Lauren in New York writes:

I have to agree with Karen in Turkey -- I too, was shocked at how invisible the State Department, the White House and President Obama were regarding the single largest coordinated event in the history of the world. It's the next day and I'm still in a state of disbelief that it even happened -- and with so little news coverage. CNN was busy showing us a cruise ship being pulled by a tug-boat and telling us again and again that Oscar Pistorius gunned down his girlfriend, while ignoring this massive and long over-due movement for women. I am, and have been, astounded on a daily basis for 40 years how much of a blind eye is turned on the plight of women, by the world, by friends, by my own family members. This must change. Obama is a much-loved and respected man. I believe woman consider him a paradigm for a 'good man' in how he conducts himself in his marriage. We need good men to speak out and we need the USA, the UK and other prominent countries to lead the world. I, personally, would vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016; how wonderful would it be to cast that vote with 3 years of hard work with 1billionrising behind her? She could mobilize the women's vote and the world. You guys were very much, a day late and a dollar short with your response to 2/14/13 (a day that will live in the hearts of women forever) but it's not too late to make it right.

Thank you.

February 17, 2013

Mohammad writes:

This "One Billion Rising" is realy necessary at this time in the century. i wish that will be successful.

god bless you.

United States
February 18, 2013

Melvee in the U.S.A. writes:

The complete lack of TV media coverage for an event with such a powerful message, and extremely powerful video clips from city after city in our own country and around the world is no accident. This media blackout points to the very real problem we face in our country of media censorship. Don't try to tell me that no woman working in TV news was interested in covering this story. The motivation behind suppressing this story is chilling to say the least. Wake up America. We have lost control of our own media

Pennsylvania, USA
February 19, 2013

Joanne in Pennsylvania writes:

Just heard about the One Billion Rising Campaign today. Sorry I didn't know about it for February 14th. Let's carry it forward and spread the word for International Woman's day on March 8, 2013.

Moira G.
February 21, 2013

Moira G. in the Philippines writes:

We are now in the 21st century and many women have broken many barriers, yet medieval mindsets continue to prevail in many cultures around the world.

Ashim C.
February 23, 2013

Ashim C. in India writes:

Position that women accept for themselves in a society is iunfluenced by culture and values as they have evolved. Violence against women is an acute problem in India too though social reformer like Raja Ram Mohun Roy since 19th century worked on what was known as SATI in which a widow was burnt alive in the pyre of her husband. That practice has ended and subsequently lot more improvements have taken place in the condition of women but it can be said with certainty that millions of women in India continue to submit themselves to domestic violence in India and accept it as natural in spite of all the laws and legislations. One is sure that there are similar situation in many other countries. This needs to change and change fast and that can happen only if urge for asserting their rights comes from within women themselves.

The problem has much to do with over all economic condition of a society. Like many other evils violence against women is by-product of economic backwardness and it sustains because poverty of women pushes down activism against violence on women to very low priority. Affluent and oil rich Arab countries may have the practice of women wearing hijab and some other restrictions but that their honour and dignity in their families and society is no less by their standards. Millions of Arab women look happy too. Values should not be imposed but allowed to evolve.


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