TORONTO: Over 13,000 global organizations, major figures such as the Dalai Lama and Australian prime Julia Gillard and Hollywood celebrities such as Jane Fonda and Charlize Theron will `rise’ on Thursday to mark One Billion Rising.
A call to action, One Billion Rising asks people all over the world to protest against violence against women. One Billion Rising gets its name from the number of women – one in three – globally who will suffer rape and beating in their lifetime.
Since women make up about half of the world’s population of over six billion, the number of those who suffer sexual violence is about one billion.
One Billion Rising coincides with Valentine Day on Feb 14.
With Amnesty International, MTV, Hollywood celebrities and global figures supporting it, One Billion Rising’s call to the global community is: `STRIKE, DANCE, RISE in your community and demand an end to violence.”
V-Day, which is also observed on February 14, is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM), and sex slavery. It is inspired by Eve Ensler’s play, The Vagina Monologues.
A known American playwright and feminist activist, Ensler says she was sexually abused by her father when she was a child.
The Vagina Monologue comprises a series of monologues dealing with the female experience – from rape to genital mutilation to birth.
While other global icons will lead One Billion Rising at their respective places, Jane Fonda, the two-time Academy-winning actress, writer, political activist, fitness guru and former fashion model, will kick off One Billion Rising and the 15th Anniversary of V-Day in West Hollywood.
San Francisco, one of America’s most activist city, will see, so to speak, multiple risings, including one at the Golden Gate Bridge.
According to Ensler, 197 countries have signed for One Billion Rising. It includes India which was rocked by the brutal gangrape of Nirbhaya and her subsequent death in December.