Asian countries sign up for writer-activist Eve Ensler’s global campaign to curb violence against women
Statistics reveal that one in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. In India, this number is even more shocking with one in two women who will be physically or sexually violated.
The most recent case that made international headlines and stirred widespread action in India was that of the Delhi gang-rape victim. The severity of the situation spurred India to join the global One Billion Rising campaign that aims to curb violence and atrocities against women. The name corresponds with the above statistics, indicating that one in three women on the planet will be raped during her lifetime. With the world population at seven billion, it adds up to more than one billion women and girls who are victims of violence.
The campaign has been launched by American writer-activist-feminist Eve Ensler (widely known for her poignant play ‘The Vagina Monologues’) and calls for citizens to rise, re-energise and refocus their resources to prevent acts of crime against women. It is an offshoot of her global anti-violence activist movement – V-Day. On Valentine’s Day next month, men and women across the world will come together to express their outrage, dance, strike and rise in defiance of the injustices women suffer, demanding a permanent end to this heartless violence.
While Ensler visited Delhi, Mumbai and Trivandrum in India and Dhaka in Bangladesh earlier this month to launch the campaign in these two South Asian countries, Taiwan has also signed up to participate in the February 14 crusade. Besides a host of women’s rights activists, feminists, celebrities and others fighting for social change, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has also come out in support of the campaign.
Kamla Bhasin, co-founder of Sangat, a South Asian feminist network, and One Billion Rising South Asia coordinator referred to the One Billion Rising campaign as a “feminist tsunami” adding that there is a renewed energy for change throughout India and South Asia. “Violence against women is not just a local, regional issue, but a global issue,” believes Ensler, who co-ordinates with women’s groups and organisations around the world to further the cause. The movement also encompasses a series of educational, informative and fund-raising events.
For more information on the event and to donate to the cause visit www.onebillionrising.org