Rallies are being held in Canada and 200 other countries worldwide as part of One Billion Rising — a movement calling for the end of violence against women and girls.

Eve Ensler, author of the Vagina Monologues and founder of the organization V-Day started the global One Billion Rising movement based on the estimate in a United Nations report that said one in three women will be beaten or raped during their lifetime, meaning one billion worldwide.

V-day holds various events throughout the year, but Feb. 14 marks their attempt at a single day of action globally.

Women and men have been invited to "dance, rise and strike" to raise the issue of gender-based violence, while also celebrating the work being done globally to counter it.

Organizers say that thousands participated in the event, dancing in the Democratic Republic of Congo — a country reported as the worst place on Earth to be a woman.


Students kicked off One Billion Rising on Valentine's Day in Manila, Philippines. (Bullit Marquez/Associated Press)

In the Philippines, a 24-hour dance party was held. While in South Africa, thousands carried signs and candles.

Hundreds of girls and women, along with supportive men also spoke out, danced in flash mobs and celebrated the event in several Indian locations — December's tragic gang-rape case a stark reminder of the battle for gender equality.

Canadian events included rallies and dance parties in most major cities. A complete list of events can be found on the One Billion Rising website.

With files from The Associated Press