One Billion Rising (OBR) is a worldwide protest against the unacceptable levels of violence and abuse that threaten women’s lives. The ‘billion’ refers to the brave billion survivors of such violence and abuse.
The call for worldwide protest was given by Eve Ensler, an eminent feminist activist, to launch the global campaign on violence against women. Activities leading to the OBR global campaign have already begun. Ensler says, “This is a call to all women. Walk out of your homes, your jobs, your schools, and find your group, your music and your dance”.
A well-known Indian activist, Kamla Bhasin, says, “In India girls are being killed in the womb, in millions. About 35 million are missing. Rape cases are seen to be on the rise. We feel violence against women (VAW) is the biggest civil war in the world, where a billion people are violated in one way or another”. To counteract this, and to seek a better tomorrow, Indian women are planning state-wise events as a part of the global campaign to end VAW.
Globally, one out of every three women (and that includes little girls, too) experiences violence in her lifetime. Women have been beaten, raped, mutilated, abused and violated, in their own homes. They’re often trafficked, prostituted, sold into bondage and murdered. No more! With the high impact of the OBR campaign, hopes are running high for achieving success. Globally, events will reach a crescendo by February 14, 2013: End VAW.
The campaign is drawing activists, writers, celebrities, religious leaders, the media, ordinary people — virtually everyone who values humanity and is against violence. Many have endorsed and supported OBR, because it is for justice and equality, and for an end to violence.
Pakistani women are part of the international OBR campaign and the mood is upbeat; despite a social milieu (still existent in many places) that frowns on women’s empowerment and the daily hurdles that they face, women have taken giant strides forward. Numerically, they’re present in educational institutions in far larger numbers; they’re visible in every profession. While it may not be gender justice, it is they who transform houses into homes, they who nurture children for responsible adulthood.