Last week in Rome, the Global Coordinators for One Billion Rising gathered for a conference to reflect on One Billion Rising for Justice and to look forward to 2015. While there, they penned a letter to Pope Francis




Dear Pope Francis,

We write to you as one of the world’s religious leaders.  We are gathered here in Rome, coordinators of One Billion Rising, a global movement to end violence against women and girls. This movement in 207 countries was ignited by the fact that 1 out of 3 women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. That is more than one billion women. 

The time has come for the Catholic Church and all religions to make ending violence against women the central issue of our time and to commit with full heart and resources to putting this scourge to an end.                                                                                   

This is our Call:

One Billion Will Rise for Justice

Until the most marginalized are held in the the center

Until the dots are connected

The silence is broken

And the story is told

Until each part of this struggle is integrated and whole

Until the law is a breathing thing

Until every violence is part of the violence we seek to end

Until every caste, every race, every sexuality and gender

Until there is one story

Until we stop forcing poor women into buildings

On the verge of collapse or into garbage sites or back alleys to make a meager living

Until we stop sending raped women home to places where they

Are raped again

Until we stop destroying and seizing the land of the indigenous

Until we stop cutting young girls or forcing them into marriages

Until we honor the women who were murdered and beaten and raped in wars,

In cities, military barracks, refugee camps, homes, churches, in colleges, in schools

On buses, in marriage beds, in forests, in work fields and offices

Until we refuse the occupation and excavation of our bodies, bases, fields, resources

And hearts


Not with more bombs

Not with more death

Not with more pain


Until each violation is uttered

And each hurt is shared

Until the layers of memories

And oppression are uncovered and bared

Until the law serves the poorest

And stops protecting the mighty

Until all are held by the same standards

Until women rise in the knowledge of their

Value and rights

Outside – courthouses, police stations, government offices, work places, military courts, embassies, places of worship, homes

Until we release our shame, guilt, grief, pain humiliation, and rage

Until apologies and reparations are made by governments,

Leaders, husbands, boyfriends, brothers, fathers, priests, rabbis, mullahs, ministers, uncles, bosses, corporate heads

Until we refuse to accept anything that does not include all

One billion are rising for justice

We hope in 2015 Vatican City will rise with the world.


Fartuun Adan (Somalia); Vanessa Arellano Banoni (Peru); Abha Bhaiya (India); Kamla Bhasin (India); Nicoletta Billi (Italy); Rada Boric (Croatia); Nicoletta Corrodini (Italy); Anne-Christine D’adesky (United States); Eve Ensler (United States); Laura Flanders (United States); Lynne Franks (United Kingdom); Nyasha Gloria Sengayi (Zimbabwe); Wu Haomei (Taiwan) Fahima Hashim (Sudan); Karin Heisecke (Germany; Colani Bagcinile Hlatjwako (Swaziland); Lindsey Horvath (United States); Chi Hui-Jung (Taiwan); Khushi Kabir (Bangladesh); Cecile Lipworth (United States); Marsha Pamela Lopez Calderon (Guatemala);Dianne Madray-Yussuff (United States); Marya Meyer (United States); Barbara Mhangami-Ruwende (Zimbabwe); Anthony Montenieri (United States); Jessica Eva Montoya (United States); Andrés Elías López León Naime (Mexico); Lisa Schejola (United States); Susan Celia Swan (United States); Isatou Touray (The Gambia); Karabo Tshikube (South Africa); Monique Wilson (Philippines)