Ways To Rise

ONE BILLION RISING FOR JUSTICE is a global call to women survivors of violence and those who love them to gather safely in community outside places where they are entitled to justice -­‐ courts, police stations, government offices, colleges, work places, military courts, places of worship, homes. It is a call to survivors to break the silence and release their stories – politically, spiritually, outrageously -­‐ through art, dance, marches, ritual, song, spoken word, testimonies and whatever way feels right.

Here are some examples of what some countries and communities are doing:

  • Peru is Rising against sexual harassment on the streets. The Construction Workers Union – perceived to be the perpetrators of sexual harassment – is being invited to head the campaign – thereby being accountable, and also engaging them to be part of the solution. They are launching their OBR “Free From Sexual Harassment” campaign. Lead up events include: A media-covered signature participation, flash mobs beginning in January to spread the campaign, and on 9 February – a half-marathon or “Stride for Justice” to encourage family participation for the central event in Lima on 14 February.
  • Nigeria is Rising to continue their fight to end child marriages – as well as holding media campaigns to highlight the legalization of violence in communities.
  • Guatemala is Rising to focus on judicial agencies – courts and the military – and looking at laws to protect women – on the back of a recent major success in Guatemala law – where the law criminalizes a boyfriend, partner or abuser if the woman becomes pregnant and is below 14 years of age, and the law that marrying age has to be 18 years old for women.  Guatemala is also Rising to highlight indigenous women and their vision of justice, with performances of “The Vagina Monologues” to facilitate discussions on justice, leading up to 14 February where they will have a huge gathering at the Central Plaza at 10am, converging outside the Centro De Justicia at 3pm for a huge event.
  • Bangladesh is Rising to lobby political parties to bring legislation to protect women at the forefront, and has programs planned across the country in the months leading up to 14 February, engaging men in the process.
  • Los Angeles is Rising to promote rape awareness and sexual assault in the military – engaging courts, local police and sheriff departments as part of their Rising.
  • Major women’s organizations and networks are coming together in Germany – including an association of women lawyers – to Rise together.
  • Haiti is Rising to highlight the impact of the earthquake on women and girls with the campaign “Rise for the Living – Rise for The Dead” and with a targeted campaign reaching out to police officers and courts for renewal and recovery called “Bring Love to Unloved Places”. One Billion Rising for Justice will also be part of their annual Mardi-Gras event. Haiti is Rising for economic justice – and for equality for all women in Haiti.
  • There will be Risings in Prisons in America.
  • The UK is gearing up for a huge One Billion Rising for Justice campaign with OBR workshops on what Justice is in the UK context, planned across the country starting in October.
  • The Philippines is Rising against militarization, corporate greed, mining, economic injustice and labor exploitation, and the plundering done by a corrupt government and foreign countries that severely impacts women and girls – with the campaign “Rage Against Impunity” and with arts festivals and events planned, including “Theatre Revolution week”, “Art in Protest” events among others. On 14 February – thousands of women’s groups headed by the Gabriela network, and their partner groups – will be marching and protesting outside the Department of Justice, the Presidential palace and the House of Congress – culminating in a huge protest concert in the evening. The campaign has lead up events incorporating the 16 Days of Activism beginning on 25 November – the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, with speak outs, discussion forums, media gatherings, and flash-mobs around the country.
  • India just finished a 3-day One Billion Rising for Justice meeting – where the focus on the campaign will be on the people’s movement, on land, on environmental and economic injustice – and are planning to hold women’s tribunals leading up to 14 February.
  • Migrant groups around the world – led by Justice for Domestic Workers in the UK, and the Migrant Filipino workers network in 22 countries – are Rising to uphold better rights for domestic and migrant workers everywhere – and to end modern day slavery.
  • Mongolia is Rising – with the Beautiful Hearts organization leading a campaign highlighting the effects of sexual abuse.
  • Italy launched One Billion Rising for Justice with huge flash-mobs on beaches all across the country, and with V-Day performances.
  • Myanmar is Rising and is holding OBR arts empowerment workshops in November in preparation for their campaign.
  • The Gambia is Rising for Justice to end female genital mutilation.
  • NGO’s across the UK working to end labor exploitation in sweatshops around the world – are Rising to highlight the plight of workers, the responsibility of consumers, and the fight for a Livable Wage.
  • In South Africa, Johannesburg has “Rising for Justice 2014, for the restoration of human dignity” as its theme, and will be looking at the judiciary, the police, the evidence gathering and investigation of rape/domestic violence cases, the failure to prosecute, and the sentencing as part of their campaign.
  • Pakistan is Rising with a V-Men campaign – to engage men and boys to end violence against women and girls.
  • As part of their campaign, Zimbabwe will look at justice for disabled people and their theme is “taking the police force back into the community” – engaging the police and educating the Victim units in the police force on sensitivity to survivors who come forward for help.
  • US campuses are doing “Campus Rising” events to demand an end to the culture of rape in colleges across the country
  • Sudan is Rising with young women in particular leading the campaign.  Their OBR campaign will be looking at problems with their court and judiciary system as huge obstacles towards getting justice for women.
  • Alianza Nacional de Campesinas – a network of farm-worker women in the US and Mexico, are Rising for Justice for women farm-workers and immigrant women, who are often made invisible in terms of the law.
  • Syrian women from “Syrian Women for Peace” are Rising for Justice with a preliminary event – a photo documentary on Syrian women featuring real stories about their lives and their justice issues. They have already created a One Billion Rising song about “a sad city: a city that has been destroyed” – and are Rising to show how women have a desire to live, and to sing – despite being in the midst of war.