The recent gang rape in Delhi has caught the media’s attention and highlighted the ongoing issue of violence against women. Support to end this violence has gone global, and it appears the One Billion Rising campaign has come at the right time.
The campaign invites women and those who support women to join forces on 14 February to dance, sing and rise up against violence.
“One billion women violated is an atrocity.
One billion dancing is a revolution.”
Eve Ensler (activist and creator of the campaign) has planned many events for the day which have already achieved several things, in particular the sense of solidarity between people looking to join in – no matter where they are in the world.
While the women’s movement has been going strong for some time, there has been a cultural divide for too long. Some western feminists have been accused of exuding a cultural superiority, feeling sorry for those ‘poor Muslim/Indian/Somali women’, while others fall into a position of cultural relativism – ‘who am I to speak for Muslim/Indian/Somali women?’. The One Billion Rising movement hopes to abolish such ideas and bring women together around the world.
After all, these are issues that affect us wherever we are. At the same time as the awful gang rape in Delhi, a discussion grows in the UK about sexual assault going unpunished too often. Alongside reports of increasing sexual violence in Syria, discussions are being held in the UK about young men’s needs to be educated about respecting women.
We seem to be finally recognising that this phenomenon of violence towards women crosses cultural borders. The many events due to take place around the globe on 14 February showcase this sense of solidarity and serves as a reminder for women around the world of our shared experiences and shared strengths.
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