by Amelia Kent
Cebu City is rising as part of a global campaign to end violence against women. The social movement known as One Billion Rising is taking the world by storm, calling women to rise, strike and dance. On February 14th 2013, Cebu City will answer.
A number of organizations inspired by the One Billion Rising Campaign have taken on this cause and their numbers are growing. The conveners include Gabriela Women’s Party, University of the Philippines Gender and Development Office, SIDLAK GRC 7, BISDAK Pride, The Fair Trade Shop Cebu and The Good Shepherd Welcome House. All of these organizations have fought tirelessly for victims of violence and exploitation. Now each group will have an opportunity to contribute their skills in helping to mobilize the community.
On January 23rd, the organizations convened for a forum and dance rehearsal at the University of the Philippines in Cebu City. During the forum a representative from each organization expressed their commitment to the movement and encouraged supporters to rally their friends and families to join the cause. Following the forum, three guest speakers shared their personal stories of violence and sexual abuse. One speaker thanked the audience for their dedication to the movement while wiping a tear from her eye. The meeting was concluded with a dance rehearsal that will be performed for the public on February 14th at 3pm at the Ayala Terraces.
Gender based violence and exploitation permeates the globe, but the Philippines in particular struggle with sex trafficking, child pornography and forced labor. According to the UN Women report on the Philippines “one in five women have experienced physical violence since age 15” and despite the fact that the most commonly reported crimes against women are domestic violence, the Philippines are one of the only countries in the world where divorce is illegal.
Last November, the Philippine Commission on Women led an 18 day campaign to end violence against women, the One Billion Rising campaign will be a continuation of those efforts. For more information on this movement visit: onebillionrising.org.
Philippine Women Article References:
United Nations (2011). United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowering Women.