[Brussels, 28 February 2013] On 14 February 2013 a unique succession of festive events took place everywhere, starting from Australia to RDC, to Mexico reaching Canada. From England to South Africa, we shook all five continents through dances and songs with a common aim: showing our refusal of violence against women, showing that we are fed up with it and we want it to STOP!Two weeks ago, the whole world took part in the largest mobilisation ever against violence against women. Europe was there!
Violence against women is one of the most pervasive violations of women’s human rights: it affects one billion women at least once in their lifetime. One billion women is one sixth of humanity, and one third of all women in the world. It is not a joke, it is the UN statistics. "One Billion Women Violated is an Atrocity. One Billion Women Dancing is a Revolution!": this was Eve Ensler’s starting point. The author of "The Vagina Monologues", initiator of V-Day, proposed the worldwide day of festive events, called One Billion Rising, to globally show that this scourge has to finish.
The European Women’s Lobby participated to One Billion Rising with a big event in Brussels: our flash mob on the original tune "Rise Up, Stand Up!" and free dance by Cecile Klefstad gathered more than 800 people in Place de la Monnaie.
The whole Europe was dancing and singing: hundreds of events were organised all over the continent. EWL’s members were very active in rising for the cause of One Billion Rising! Here you are a brief sample of our members’ actions on 14 February 2013.
EWL’s Austrian members, the Oesterreichischer Frauenring, participated to a vast array of events organised in the country together with many other NGOs and the Platform ‘20000 frauen’: flash mobs, dancing parties, press conferences and theater performances took places in many cities in Austria.
In Denmark, One Billion Rising spread the word about violence against women through a conference, co-organised by the Danish Women’s Council (DWC).
Piv La Cour, co-organizer of OBR Denmark, affirmed: “As we tend to look abroad for GBV issues, co-organizer Noura Bittar Søborg and myself thought it would be interesting to turn the perspective around and look at our own GBV problems - violence towards women, here in Denmark. Recent national reports have stated that "young relationship violence" is an ongoing problem in Danish society along with matters of trafficking. Through our own research, we found that many people, young and old, are not aware of how severe these matters are. In fact many seem to be generally uninformed on the topic of violence itself (types of violence, consequences of violence etc.)”.
They therefore decided to focus on "information on violence and types of GBV in Denmark" for their OBR event: they invited experts to talk about relationship and domestic violence, human trafficking and violence met in conflict and war zones. MEP Britta Thomsen was also present and she spoke about her work to ensure women’s rights in Europe.
These presentations were followed by a debate with the audience and the night ended with music and dancing.
“Our goal was to inform the audience and leave them with general knowledge about violence and have them take a pledge to spread the word and their newly gained knowledge on why this is a global matter- our matter”, La Cour says.
The Hungarian Women’s Lobby (HWL), in cooperation with other NGOs, celebrities and media journalists, organised a big event in Budapest: "Egymilliárd n? ébredése" (One Billion Rising in Hungarian).
The event went viral in the media. The HWL used the event to demand the Hungarian government to sign the Istanbul Convention (Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence). Some HWL’s member organisations at the countryside also danced. Many communities, dance and aerobics classes, homeless women’s shelter (etc) organised different dances.
Photos about the event can be found on One Billion Rising Budapest Facebook Page
The Veszprem Women’s Roundtable also organised an event in Veszprem (Hungary), dancing on Rise Up, Stand Up!
The EWL Coordination in Turkey organised a photo campaign, asking people (women and men) why they would rise on 14 February against violence against women. A video was prepared with the photo collection:
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
EWL’s member Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), in partnership with PeaceWomen, joined One Billion Rising through a photo campaign, with hundreds participants from all over the world.