By Observer Reporter
The 2016 One Billion Rising Revolution event is yet another amplification of the OBR (One Billion Rising) voices, building the momentum, escalating the gains, calling for accountability and raising our voices to the injustices taking place worldwide with women’s bodies targeted as the arena of war and violence.
The 2016 revolution is a call for action all over the world, to Listen! Act! Rise! as the tagline. It is about building global solidarity and support to Enlarge!, Deepen!, Expand and Revolutionise our engagements with global patriarchies who are bonding with each other to wage a war on women’s bodies.
One in three women across the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. That’s ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS. Every February through March 8th, thousands of Risings take place in hundreds of countries across the world and within local communities – to show the world what one billion looks like and shine a light on the rampant impunity and injustice that survivors of various forms of violence face. People around the world rise through dance, to express rage against injustices, and the power of global solidarity and collective action. They dance to express joy and community and celebrate the fact that together, violence can be defeated. They rise to show a determination to create a new kind of consciousness – one where violence will be resisted until it is unthinkable According to local OBR coordinator, Xolani Hlatshwayo In 2015, the theme for the ONE BILLION RISING in Swaziland, “was women and girls leading the Revolution for peace and justice” with the tagline ‘Drum, Dance & Rise,’ was a call to focus on revolution and change as an escalation of demands to end violence against women and girls once and for all.
“In our justice campaign we formed new and hopefully lasting coalitions between existing groups and individuals not only within the women’s movement but also between people’s movements covering diverse sectors.
We showed that there is nothing more powerful than solidarity as it makes all of us safer in our outspokenness, braver in what we feel willing to do. It inspires all of us to go further when we know the eyes of the world are on us. This was proven in 2015 when the streets of Manzini came to a standstill when women and girls adorned in their various attires filled the street singing and dancing. What was amazing is that the march was not only attended by women and girls, but Members of Parliament were also part of the event, NGOs as well as men. Members of Parliament present committed themselves to push for the enactment of the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Bill and also to make sure that in their constituencies’ women issues are made a priority and that women are protected.
“What we also did was show the power of art and dance and the astonishing and political alchemy that occurs when art and activism happen simultaneously.
Dance is one of the most powerful forces on the earth and we have only just begun to tap into where it can take us. The struggle of humanity is the struggle to return to our bodies.
Through trauma, cruelty, shame, oppression, violence, rape, exclusion, the body of the human species has been hurt, wounded, and we have been forced to flee our bodies. This same cruelty, rape oppression, has been enacted on the earth and the consequences have been dire. We are verging on total catastrophe and collapse of life as we know it. Dancing allows us to come back into our bodies as individuals and groups and a world, it connects our feet to the earth and inspires us to move to her rhythms. It allows us to go further, to include everyone, to tap into a revolutionary and poetic energy, which is inviting us to take the lid off the patriarchal container releasing more of our wisdom, our self love, our sexuality, our compassion, and fierceness. Dancing is defiance. It is joyous and raging. It is contagious and free and beyond corporate or state control.
We have only begun to dance. This year we must continue to go much further. We must go all the way and make the change.
“Let us all take leadership in our various communities and regions to escalate, amplify our voices and revolutionise our campaigns beyond our borders to call an end to violence against women and girls, against humanity and push for the enactment of the sexual offences and domestic violence bill.
“I urge you in your various regions, groups and organisations to engage constructively with the
One Billion Rising Revolution 2016 . It is time to Listen! Act! Rise for Justice and Revolutionise our campaigns to protect girls and women from any form of violence through enactment of the sexual offences and domestic violence legislation and push for increased and deeper love, peace and unity amongst our communities” she said.