ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN
1 in 3 women across the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. That’s ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS. Every February, we rise – in countries across the world – to show our local communities and the world what one billion looks like and shine a light on the rampant impunity and injustice that survivors most often face. We rise through dance to express joy and community and celebrate the fact that we have not been defeated by this violence. We rise to show we are determined to create a new kind of consciousness – one where violence will be resisted until it is unthinkable.
One Billion Rising is the biggest mass action to end violence against women (cisgender, transgender, and those who hold fluid identities that are subject to gender-based violence) in human history. The campaign, which launched on Valentine’s Day 2012, began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS
2013: People across the world came together to express their outrage, to strike, dance, and RISE in defiance of the injustices women suffer, demanding an end at last to violence against women.
2014: One Billion Rising for Justice focused on the issue of justice for all survivors of gender violence, and highlighted the impunity that lives at the intersection of poverty, racism, war, the plunder of the environment, capitalism, imperialism, and patriarchy. For the third year of the campaign, One Billion Rising’s global coordinators chose the theme of “Revolution” as an escalation of the demand for justice, and to build upon the massive efforts of communities worldwide that also looked at the roots and causes of violence as part of their call for justice.
2015: Millions of activists in over 200 countries gathered to Rise for REVOLUTION, to change the paradigm, demand accountability, justice and systematic CHANGE. We are rising to show we are determined to create a new kind of consciousness – one where violence will be resisted until it is unthinkable.
2016: The theme of Revolution continues with a call to focus on marginalized women and to bring national and international focus to their issues; to bring in new artistic energy; to amplify Revolution as a call for system change to end violence against women and girls; to call on people to rise for others, and not just for ourselves.
2017: The call escalated to Rising in Solidarity against the exploitation of women and girls. In so many regions of the world, women are abused in multiple ways across layers of exploitation and oppression. One layer is the deeply entrenched patriarchal structures in society that continue to subordinate and oppress women, and conditions or forces women into submission and subjugation. This creates fertile ground for domination and control over them. Another layer is the exportation of poor women for labor when economic exploitation is globally enforced by imperialist and capitalist states that place profit over people. The abuse of the planet, and the commodification and dehumanization of women’s bodies in the service of profit, and in the service of other nations’ profit and development, is the most criminal act of abuse and power. This is especially so when the exploitation is being done to the most marginalized women – indigenous women, transgender women, migrant women, domestic workers, undocumented women, the urban poor and peasant women. The 2017 Rising was a demand to end ALL forms of exploitation of women and girls.
2018: The theme of SOLIDARITY remained the focus of One Billion Rising 2018, with the call to “Rise, Resist, Unite!” As we came into a time defined by a fierce escalation of fascist, imperialist, neo-liberal attacks on the lives of people around the world, the OBR call to “Rise, Resist and Unite” became more resounding. And the most marginalized – working class, minority and women on the margins in every part of the globe – who experience the impact and are forced to confront these attacks on their welfare and rights and homes, once again led the risings. Joining the emergence of other anti-women, anti-people leaders and governments around the world, we saw mass OBR global risings with other social movements as well as deep and ongoing engagements creating a vigorous solidarity and dynamic energy to a rising resistance everywhere. This included the advocacy of women’s rights, the protection and defense of indigenous lands and the rights of indigenous peoples, rising against fascism and tyranny, discrimination and racism, environmental plunder and destruction, corporate greed, economic violence, poverty, state brutality and repression, war and militarism.
2019 introduced “RISING: From a Campaign to a Way of Life” and the OBR Manifesta. As we continued to Rise to end violence against women – it was imperative now for us to expand our understanding of women’s oppression and exploitation in the context of capitalism, colonization, racism, imperialism, environmental plunder and war. We have been compartmentalized and divided for too long. Our Rising must now connect our specific oppression to the common universal humanity that binds us all. This is no less than a way of life, a way of seeing, a way of being in the world. It is not one day that we rise, but every day that this consciousness must rise in all we do. We call on you to be braver, go deeper, reflect, study, listen, learn, awaken to what you don’t know, ask the difficult questions, engage, take actions, and push yourselves out of your comfort zones physically and intellectually. We call on you to commit to resistance and solidarity. Because Rising is no longer a campaign – it is a way of life.
2020: We are in the midst of a rising tide of right-wing nationalism, white supremacy, fascism, tyranny, hatred of and fear of immigrants, misogyny, femicide, homophobia, transphobia, corporate greed and climate destruction. We cannot beat fascists, rapists, climate deniers and plunderers on their terms. We will never be that cruel, discompassionate, greedy, or murderous. We cannot let ourselves be changed by or sunk in their cynicism, hatred, divisions and destruction. What we can do is remember we are the many and we can raise the vibration through action, art, connection, imagination and love.