Last week I was writing about how much I wanted a revolution. Turns out I’m not the only one. What are you doing on Valentine’s Day? Fancy a dance around Plaza Espana with a billion people? What, McLeod have you finally lost it? Okay, let me rewind.
You see, I just “Googled” ‘how many people live on the planet?’ as I couldn´t quite get my head around it. Wikipedia says that the United States Census Bureau estimates that there are over seven billion people living on the planet now. Today. That´s a lot of people. So there´s about 3.5 billion females (Adam, Eve, law of averages, I didn´t use Wikipedia for this bit so maybe I am a little out). We accept that? So how about this statistic, (it will shock you), one in three women on the planet will be beaten or raped in her lifetime. So, elementary maths, that means that about a billion women will be in some way physically or sexually abused during their lifetime. That is one billion mothers, daughters, sisters, partners, and friends. Yet, most of the world remains silent and indifferent. The time has come to put a stop to the violence, and to the silence that surrounds it. It is appalling, and I WON’T accept it. I´m thinking about Malala Yousafzai who was shot in the head for having the audacity to think that girls have the right to education in Pakistan, and I am thinking about the young Indian woman who was gang raped on a bus. And that´s just two high profile stories in the past month. Imagine a billion of these stories.
On February 14th, 2013, one billion women and those who love them are invited to walk out, rise up, dance, and strike to demand an end to violence against women and girls. Already, thousands of activists and organisations around the globe have signed on and events are being planned in countries all over the planet. Women’s, human rights, labour, economic justice, environmental, faith-based, and LGBTQ groups, as well as artists and high profile lawmakers are coming together. Rosario Dawson, Thandie Newton, Charlize Theron, Kerry Washington along with Yoko Ono, Jessica Alba, Anne Hathaway, Donna Karan, Jennifer Lawrence, Dylan McDermott, Robert Redford, Lily Tomlin, Rosie Huntington – Whitely, Zoe Kravitz will be rising and dancing, plus many more. http://www.onebillionrising.org is part of V-Day (www.vday.org) which is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls that raises funds and awareness through benefit productions of Playwright/Founder Eve Ensler’s award winning play The Vagina Monologues and other artistic works.
So the idea is: if you don´t accept this, and you think you would like in some way to show that you refuse to accept violence against women and girls as a given then you can stand up and be counted. You don´t have to turn up at a demo in the middle of Palma, you don´t (although, it will be great, you have to be at the Plaza Espana in Palma at 3.30pm on Valentine´s Day, wear some pink and bring flowers, and prepare to dance with what could be quite a lot of other people, imagine how exciting that would be!). Instead, if you prefer, you can do your own thing, if you visit http://www.onebillionrising.org and get some ideas about how you can participate. It can be by writing about it, getting your local school to participate, by tweeting about or changing your Facebook profile photo to the logo of the One Billion Rising. There are a lot of ways to show your support. Please join activists, writers, thinkers, celebrities, and women and men across the world as we express their outrage, demand change, strike, dance, and RISE in defiance of the injustices women suffer, demanding an end at last to violence against women. See you on the dance floor.
Family Matters Mallorca by Vicki McLeod©2013