RISING SOLIDARITY

1billion_tiledmediasquares_071 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 hundreds of 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.

This year we are Rising In Solidarity Against the Exploitation of Women. We are initiating a new series, “RISING SOLIDARITY” where we will be sharing stories of extraordinary activists from around the world about their experiences with true solidarity, harnessing a deeper understanding of why it is critical in the fight against systems of oppression and exploitation. Providing both regional and global context for what it means to stand in solidarity with each other.

If you are interested in contributing a blog to this series please contact info(@)onebillionrising.org


lepaPOLITICS OF WOMEN’S SOLIDARITY
By Lepa Mladjenovic
V-Day / OBR Belgrade

Women’s solidarity starts with my decision to hear the Other. To hear her experience, to make a space in my body for her, so that she can let her story come through the way she tells it. This means that I have agreed that experience of each woman is equally valuable. That I am important to myself and that she is important to me. That I started to accept myself unconditionally. That I started to accept all my emotions unconditionally, nevertheless no one ever told me to do this when I was young, that acceptance is what I need to do to heal.

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neliRISING IN SOLIDARITY AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING
By Neli Delgado
Mexico

Today I stood in front of a presidium of scholars that handed me my college Diploma. I am a graduate of LaSalle University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. No one in the audience could have guessed where I was standing just 6 years ago.

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yanarIN SISTERHOOD WE STAND
By Yanar Mohammed
OWFI President
Iraq

In spite of the explosions that continue to shake Baghdad every night, I will continue to write this message to the end, and will not stop the flow of words even if the attacks come closer to my neighborhood or to my door. None of these attacks can break the bond of sisterhood which empowered and kept us on our feet all these years against all odds.

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colaniWHAT SOLIDARITY MEANS TO ME
By Colani Hlatjwako
OBR Swaziland

In spite of the explosions that continue to shake Baghdad every night, I will continue to write this message to the end, and will not stop the flow of words even if the attacks come closer to my neighborhood or to my door. None of these attacks can break the bond of sisterhood which empowered and kept us on our feet all these years against all odds.

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sharonSOLIDARITY
By Sharon Cabusao
Philippines

Moreta Alegre. Kendra James. Yazidi women. Bai Bibyaon. The young girls of Iraq and Syria. Our Palestinian sisters.

When I think of solidarity, I think of these women, and thousands more suffering under particular circumstances.

There is no part of the world today where there is no woman crying for justice, for food, for peace, for liberation.

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donnaWOMEN’S SOLIDARITY
By Donna Hylton
From Life to Life
USA

As I think about solidarity, women’s solidarity, my solidarity, after 27 years of being identified as inmate 86G0206, I am immediately transported back into my 8′ by 10′ foot cinderblock cell. It was in that cell that I first found solidarity with self. It was where I began to understand and manifest the power and the ability to create change and where I found the autonomy to be a woman in solidarity.

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chi hui-jungINTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY
By Chi Hui-Jung
Taiwan

On August 9th, on an extremely warm evening, our dear sister Rada Boric arrived at Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport after a 17-hour long journey.

Rada and I met three years ago at a One Billion Rising (OBR) event. She was kind, funny, brave, energetic and full of life; we became friends instantly. So when she told me she was going to a conference in Japan and would stopover in Shanghai for a few days, I told her: “No, you are not going to Shanghai, you’re coming to Taiwan!” And here she was – transforming inspiration into action, like she always does.

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INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY
By A Longtime OBR Activist (identity omitted to protect her safety)
Afghanistan

Throughout its turbulent history, Afghanistan has been a hotbed of conflicts between the powerful countries of the world. It has sustained attacks from many countries throughout its history. During the Cold War, the US armed and funded Jehadi terrorist gangs, through Pakistan, against the Russians. After Russia’s withdrawal, these warlords burned the country to the ground in a bloody 4-year civil war, which saw the perpetration of the worst war crimes in the history of the country…

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farahWHEN WOMEN RISE: SOLIDARITY IN THE URGENCY OF NOW
By Farah Tanis
Co-founder and Executive Director at Black Women’s Blueprint
USA

Not too long ago I walked forward in the light generated by coming face to face with a warrior for peace. We sat together and talked together. She, being a co-conspirator to whom I decisively tipped the wide brim of my hat with the great pride felt in rare moments when one recognizes a true comrade.

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kessiaWHAT SOLIDARITY MEANS TO ME
By Kessia Magosha
Zimbabwe

For the past three years I have been part of the One Billion Rising Campaign in Zimbabwe. My first interaction with the campaign as an artist was when I was asked to perform a song for a visual exhibition launch at the Book Café, an artist’s hub which was essential to the growth and partnership of the rising with key female artists for the past four years in which the rising has been conducted.

As an artist, I grew from learning that my involvement within the campaign was essential for giving back to my community and fans. I became a message bearer to the people as the campaign gave me a platform for voice out against forms of abuse against women and girls.

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This ongoing series will feature new voices throughout the campaign