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Using Dance as a Form of Protest, OBR Activists Call for Revolution & System Change to End Violence Against Women & Girls In the Streets & Across Social Media

Rising Events Held from 14 February to 8 March, International Women’s Day, Spotlight on Most Marginalised Women & Girls

Campaign Trended on Twitter in Philippines, Germany, Italy, Austria, London, Berlin, Frankfurt, & Munchen

Upcoming Events In DR Congo, India, London, & Mexico, and more


19 February 2016 – For the fourth year, activists in 200 countries rose up to demand an end to violence against women and girls as part of the global One Billion Rising movement. 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime, adding up to more than one billion women and girls. With the tagline ‘Listen, Act, Rise,’ this year’s theme and call to action was created by the One Billion Rising global coordinators.  Their shared voices – from regions around the world – came to a unanimous decision to escalate the actions worldwide and amplify the voices of marginalized women.

Each rising, city and country applied the 2016 call to action in their local context. Using dance as a form of protest – events, rallies, flash mobs, artistic uprisings, panel discussions, and concerts took place in locations where women felt safe or deserve to feel safe, in community with other activists or alone, with people of all abilities, demanding justice and systematic changes, or reclaiming their bodies, their lands or their narratives –including the Kentex factory in the Philippines that burned down 9 months ago killing 72 people, on the beaches in Somalia, on hundreds of college campuses, in high schools, and primary schools, in plazas and piazzas, in the Mexican Chamber of Deputies, in parks, on town squares, on the steps of the State Capitol in Denver, at iconic landmarks including Brandenburg Gate, the Eiffel Tower, and the Parthenon, and in women’s shelters and in people’s homes.

From North to South, activists in India demanded a violence free nation; transgender communities rising in Kolkata to Youth rising in New Delhi, from 2000 women, girls and boys rising in Bihar for Violence Free Lives, to women rising for Self Governance in Himachal Pradesh, and more.

Activists welcomed refugees who are fleeing war, persecution and poverty, from Italy to Croatia, India to the UK. In Germany, where over 100 cities hosted events, many rose for and with refugees and other marginalized communities. Local OBR artist Phoenic Nicole Bornkessel recently released this year’s local anthem “Station of Welcome,” featuring local activists welcoming refugees.

In many communities, Risings will continue leading up to International Women’s Day, 8 March.  Activists in the Philippines have even created a specific hashtag #Rise2March8 to spread the word about the ongoing events in communities throughout the country.

“We saw communities across the globe dancing their One Billion Rising Dance for Revolution – in creative defiance against violence, injustice, inequality, marginalization and oppression. And their bodies dancing together in communities – connected across the world in this global movement that is using art as a glorious, fierce and unshakable force of resistance – is a strong and powerful call to overhaul and change our current systems of violence and greed,” stated Eve Ensler, One Billion Rising Founder & Monique Wilson, One Billion Rising Global Director

Highlights from this year’s campaign include: 

Connecting Movements Calling for System Change – Risings make connections across movements, addressing imperialism, war, climate change, racism, economic inequality, workers rights and patriarchy.  Activists made connections to Black Lives Matter and Say Her Name, In Oakland, CA, Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matterf, was honored and spoke about the work of movement building. Tibetan and Indian activists came together to RISE for climate justice. 

One Billion Rising Homepage  ( continues to serve as a central location for the campaign, with updates from grassroots organizers, access to event videos, links to coverage of the campaign and statements from across social media. Events in the Dhaka, the Philippines, and Guatemala were live streamed online for immediate viewing; others were captured via live tweeting and Instagram.  On Friday, 19 February, the rising in Bukavu, DR Congo will be live streamed.

Trending Hashtags #onebillionrising, #rise4revolution and #1billionrising took over social media, trending on Twitter in the Philippines, Germany, Italy, Austria, London, Berlin, Frankfurt and Munchen. Tens of thousands of images, videos, art, and messages of support and defiance spread across our networks on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram,

Youth RISING, Schools RISING; One Billion Rising: Rise for Revolution saw young adults and school children at the forefront of the campaign in many communities. Thousands of youth around the world danced to the anthem “Break the Chain”, others created their own dances, poems and expressions of revolution calling out sexism, patriarchy and gender inequality, they demanded access to education as a tool to overcome injustice in their homes and in society, and bravely spoke out about their experiences of domestic and sexual violence. Mothers, fathers and elders rose to create a world that was safe for their daughters by raising non-violent sons. Somali Youth hosted a radical OBR event where they rose for their rights, determined to rebuild their country through service, education and peace.

Rise for the Raise, Workers Rising: The intersections of economic security, ending workplace sexual harassment, strong labor laws and the ability for women to thrive was amplified by many risings this year.

Artistic Uprisings: One Billion Rising is about the power of merging activism with art, the synthesis of expression and political action. Communities used dance, art and drumming to express their joy and their outrage and demands. They created wild, radical dance moves that free and liberate the body, that can move people into defiance, joy, courage, empowerment and community.

Activists in London hosted The One Billion Rising Festival, an eight-day creative campaign raising awareness for and demanding an end to violence against women, featuring artistic performances, workshops, talks and an exhibition, showing once again that art and activism are the two foundational pillars of the movement. Recording artist Maya Azucena, a dedicated OBR activist, domestic violence survivor and an outspoken advocate for social change, released an OBR tribute song Dance Revolution (DJ Spinna Mix). Across India, artists performed monologues, plays and dance theater in honor of Nirbhaya and to end street harassment and demand safe access to public spaces for women and girls.

Rising for Refugees: Activists welcomed refugees who are fleeing war, persecution and poverty, from Italy to Croatia, India to the UK. In Germany, where over 100 cities hosted events, many rose for and with refugees and other marginalized communities. Local OBR artist Phoenic Nicole Bornkessel recently released this year’s local anthem “Station of Welcome,” featuring local activists welcoming refugees. In Salzburg, activists rose with signs welcoming refugees that said “ two arms for respect and solidarity instead of an arm-length distance.”

Breaking the Silence:  Risings are community led and determined events.  Communities gather and together witness the power of holding space for testimonials.  Survivors showed tremendous courage by stepping forward and sharing their stories, releasing pain and trauma, and returning to their bodies. A former sex trafficked youth spoke out in Santa Fe, determined to make sure no other girl had to endure that in her community again. Activists in Pensacola reclaimed their bodies from patriarchal expectations, declaring self-love as an act of revolution.

Men Rising: Men and boys continue to support the call to ending violence against women and girls, reminding their communities that this is not a women’s issue and that it impacts can be felt across the gender spectrum. By showing up, respecting boundaries, uplifting the most marginalized and pledging to live non-violence, male identifying activists are reclaiming masculinity from the harmful narrative that has too long been prioritized by patriarchy. A fraternity in Oregon rose for a rape free campus and for a future where no one lives under the threat of violence, male leaders in Santa Fe, Botswana and Croatia pledge to continue to make ending violence against women a priority, and One Billion Rising India partnered with local organization Men Engage Delhi to deconstruct social constructs that reinforce sexism, violence and discrimination in their city.

Rising 2016 Tour with Eve Ensler and Monique Wilson Continues; Following stops in Atlanta; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Cebu, Tacloban, Davao, and Manila, The Philippines, One Billion Rising Founder, Eve Ensler, and Global Director, Monique Wilson, will continue on to Hong Kong; Playa Del Carmen and Mexico City, Mexico, and London, where they will join local organizers and activists for local events.

In Hong Kong, they will join domestic workers from the Philippines, Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh rising for the rights of domestic and migrant workers on 21 February. The next day, there will be an East Asia Rising summit gathering 35 coordinators from Taiwan, China, Mongolia, Japan and Hong Kong, joined by Eve and Monique, discussing OBR initiatives and issues around East Asia, as well as future plans and directions. Hosted by Taiwan’s Garden of Hope and Rain Lily – Hong Kong’s first one-stop-crisis center for female victims of sexual violence. In March, they will travel to Mexico where this year’s One Billion Rising Revolution focus is the issue of the national and international sex trafficking of Mexican girls and women.

The tour is finishing in London with the London Premier of Ensler’s newest theatrical work the “Fruit Trilogy” at the Southbank Center, part of the WOW (Women of the World) International Festival and co-produced with the West Yorkshire Playhouse and a “Bodies of Revolution” panel at WOW with Eve Ensler, Monique Wilson, Christine Schuler Deschryver from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rada Boric from Croatia

Bodies of Revolution Panel to be Broadcast; the panel, Bodies of Revolution: Women Rise Against Police, States & Empire, which took place 5 December in NYC, has been edited into an hour long TV special which will air on LINK TV and TeleSur on 8 March. Hosted by journalist Laura Flanders of The Laura Flanders Show, the event featured activists including Fartuun A. Adan, Suad Amiry, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Eve Ensler, Frances Garrett, Nimmi Gowrinathan, Yanar Mohammed, Lu Pin, Thenmozhi Soundararajan, Sara Milena Ferrer Valencia, Monique Wilson and Zoya. The two panel discussions explore how and why women experience violence at the intersection of multiple oppressive forces and systems and how they are rising against imperialism, racism, sexism and neo-colonialism. With performances by Climbing PoeTree and Abby Hobson. (View clips from Bodies of Revolution).

Rising Anthem “Break The Chain” – throughout the first three years of One Billion Rising, activists have creatively used the “Break The Chain” song and choreography in their communities often as a centerpiece and rally cry for their events.   Since it was released in late 2012, the song has been translated into over 15 languages making the message more accessible, the song more local.  Communities around the world have also adapted, localised and completely re-envisioned the choreography, in many places integrating the dance into their cultures so that it remains current and relevant. These incredible dances (as well as the original ones) have been shared throughout the campaign, they are unique and inspiring.

One Billion Rising is not simply a day of action, but an activist led effort with global momentum and local impact that occurs in the days leading up to and following 14 February.

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About One Billion Rising One Billion Rising is the biggest mass action to end violence against women in human history. The campaign, 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. Every February through 8 March, 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. Through the collective efforts of activists in 200 countries, One Billion Rising has mobilised, engaged, awakened and joined people worldwide to end violence against women. It has made violence against women a global human issue not relegated to country or tribe or class or religion, and revealed it as a patriarchal mandate, present in every culture of the world.

ONE BILLION RISING: REVOLUTION is an energy, a platform, a global movement, a catalyst, a worldwide decision to end violence against women, a demand for justice, a paradigm shift, an invitation, a gathering of the ready, housed everywhere, housed in our hearts, you, us, REVOLUTION. 


Amplify the Voices of Marginalised Women

Bring National and International Focus to Their Issues

Bring New Artistic Energy to Create This Possibility

Raise Other Issues That Have Not Been as Visible

Amplify REVOLUTION as a Call for System Change

Platform Voices That Have Not Been Heard Within Local Campaigns

Call on People to RISE FOR OTHERS

Call Upon People of Privilege to Rise for Those Who are Not

Create Synergy and Connection

Continue to Call for State Accountability and Justice

Keep Highlighting the Economic Context of Women


Keep Connecting the BODY with REVOLUTION

Rise for Change and Equality