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Social Issues
One Billion Rising: Global Campaign Calls For An End To Violence Against Women And Girls
February 14, 2013
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This is an important day in the fight to stop violence against women and girls around the world.

It's the 15th anniversary of V-Day: a global movement calling on everyone - women and men, girls and boys - to demand a world where women and girls live safely and freely.

This year, V-Day organizers have launched their most ambitious campaign - One Billion Rising.

According to the United Nations, 1 out of 3 women in the world will experience violence in her life. That works out to more than 1 billion women who will be affected by violence.

So today, as highlighted on the V-Day website, organizers are "inviting ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to this violence."

In other words, walk out of their jobs, schools, offices, homes and strike, rise and dance.

The site goes on to say "V-Day wants the world to see our collective strength, our numbers, our solidarity across borders."

The video at the top of the page shows the dark reality of violence against women and girls, but also highlights the power we have to stop it.

You can submit your own "I Am Rising" video by clicking here.

There's also a song for One Billion Rising called 'Break The Chain'. Here's the video.

The 'V' in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina.

As part of their mission, organizers have set out eight pillars, including...

V-Day is a demand: Rape, incest, battery, genital mutilation and sexual slavery must end now.

V-Day is a spirit: We believe women should spend their lives creating and thriving rather than surviving or recovering from terrible atrocities.

V-Day is a process: We will work as long as it takes. We will not stop until the violence stops.

And their work is grounded in four core beliefs:

• Art has the power to transform thinking and inspire people to act
• Lasting social and cultural change is spread by ordinary people doing extraordinary things
• Local women best know what their communities need and can become unstoppable leaders
• One must look at the intersection of race, class, and gender to understand violence against women

Here's a video that explains more.

Last year alone, there were more than 5,800 V-Day benefit events.

Today, One Billion Rising is happening in just over 200 countries - from Europe to Asia, Africa and the Caribbean and all of North America.

The movement was founded in 1998 by Eve Ensler, the Tony Award winning playwright and activist who wrote the play The Vagina Monologues.

The play has been translated into over 48 languages and performed in over 140 countries, including sold out runs in New York and London.

As the website says, "After every performance, Ensler found women waiting to share their own stories of survival, leading her to see that The Vagina Monologues could be more than a moving work of art on violence."

So, together with a group of women in New York City, she started V-Day. At the time, it was a single event.

Now, it has raised more than $90 million, funded more than 13,000 community-based anti-violence programs and educated millions of people.

V-Day organizers, in partnership with The Guardian, asked celebrities, leaders and activists to record short videos for the campaign.

Here's one from Robert Redford.

And another from Rosario Dawson.

You can watch more videos here. And you can check out an in-depth series on The Guardian's website here.

According to the V-Day website...

"Working with local organizations, V-Day provided hard-won funding that helped open the first shelters for women in Egypt and Iraq; sponsored annual workshops and three national campaigns in Afghanistan; convened the "Confronting Violence" conference of South Asian women leaders; and donated satellite-phones to Afghan women to keep lines of communication open and action plans moving forward."

It's also helped to create programs in Sudan, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon that work to stop violence against women and girls.

If you want to get involved with V-Day, and help organize a V-Day event, you can find out more here. And if you want to make a donation, just click right here.

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