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.
About One Billion Rising
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.
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.
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.
2021: RISING GARDENS are a defiant creative call for revival, restoration and transformation. They are, in many ways, a compassionate call for justice – because one of the greatest injustices of our time has been the destruction and eradication of Mother Earth, parallel to the ongoing and escalating gender-based violence. We cannot keep the ongoing extraction of women’s labour and earth’s produce, with no gratitude to both. We must honor and protect the Earth and women in order for any future life to exist.
2022: RISE FOR THE BODIES OF ALL WOMEN, GIRLS & THE EARTH, created by the ONE BILLION RISING coordinators. Our 2022 call is to connect both in a deeper, more purposeful, political, transformative and yet also empowering, hopeful way. And to make this coming year a truly radical, bold, fearless escalation of artistic risings. We are experiencing the devastating consequences of the ongoing vicious systems of patriarchy, imperialism, capitalism and racism on the world today. We see this destructive battle for power fought over women’s bodies and the body of the earth. The devastation cannot be ignored. This past year has seen global lockdowns, government neglect, health crises, proliferation of authoritarian regimes, endemic exploitation of labor, escalating corporate greed, worsening poverty, racism and exclusion, the grave ongoing destruction and pillaging of the environment for capital, as well as the deterioration of the climate. At the core of all of this is the injurious hold of patriarchy and misogyny ––on women’s rights and freedom. We have seen more rapes, more domestic violence, more abuse, more exploitation, more trafficking, more hunger and death, more political persecution, more restrictions on freedom and mobility, more forced migration, more femicide, more loss of reproductive rights, and more and more violence. The violence of discrimination, of exclusion, of poverty, of inequality, of occupation, of exploitation, of suppression, of displacement, of oppression, of control has been severe and unrelenting.
2023: RISE FOR FREEDOM
This year we call on the world to RISE FOR FREEDOM. Freedom from Patriarchy and from all its progeny….capitalism, impunity, poverty, oppression, division, exploitation, shame, control, individualism, greed, violence…and in this Rising…CREATE THE NEW CULTURE
A culture where we collectively share in the commitment to:
End violence towards women, gender nonconforming and gender expansive people
End violence towards the earth
Cultivate care, community, trust and compassion
Uphold cooperation rather than competition,
Refuse outright the inequality of wealth
Place people over profit
Know our true history
Make apologies and reparations
Honour the artists, visionaries, seekers, storytellers, shamans, poets, healers
Embrace collective energy
Embody the power of art and dance
2023 will be the year of INSPIRATION and ASPIRATION.
A year of storytelling, building communities, strengthening solidarity, sharing dreams, planting trees, creating art, honoring women and the earth, and of dancing.
It is the year we will continue to ENVISION and CREATE new ways of being, seeing, living, loving and connecting. Of raising consciousness and deepening understanding. So that our freedom, our future, is rooted in truth, love, community, earth and body.