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'One Billion Rising' Gets Women on Their Feet Against Violence


As part of playwright and activist Eve Ensler's annual V-Day celebration, which brings anti-female violence to the world's attention every Valentine's Day, dance and physical self-expression has become key. This year a new theme, One Billion Rising, emerged from a horrifying statistic: that "one in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime," Ensler's V-Day site says. 

This number comes to V-Day via the 2003 UNIFEM report "Not A Minute More: Ending Violence Against Women" and UNITE To End Violence Against Women Campaign, initiated by the office of the United Nations secretary-general in 2008. 

That equals one billion women, so for the 15th anniversary of V-Day, the group invited "ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to this violence," the One Billion Rising website states. "ONE BILLION RISING will move the earth, activating women and men across every country. V-Day wants the world to see our collective strength, our numbers, our solidarity across borders."

In Canada, where the annual Memorial March for Women commemorated the lives of the hundreds of missing and murdered aboriginal women for the 22nd year, such statistics hit home, especially in light of the recent scathing report from Human Rights Watch alleging widespread police abuse of aboriginal women. 

The uplifting video below provided the template. The flash mob dances it inspired around the world—from Brazil to Kartoum, to Sudan, to India, and of course all over Turtle Island—are stacked up for your exuberant, empowering, viewing pleasure at the One Billion Rising website.