Protestors will be dancing in the streets on V-Day, Feb. 14, to put an end to violence against women. One Billion Rising YYC is part of a global movement that aims to increase discussion around gender discrimination and violence. It will be the inaugural event.
According to the One Billion Rising website, “Today, on the planet, a billion women — one of every three women — will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. That’s one billion mothers, daughters, sisters, partners and friends violated.”
A study conducted by the World Health Organization stated that as many as 71 per cent of women aged 15–49 have been physically or sexually abused in their lifetimes.
In Calgary, participants of One Billion Rising will be taking over TD Square from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., holding a march, flash mob, speeches and live performances.
According to organizer of the Calgary chapter and fourth-year U of C psychology student Chelsea Humphry, One Billion Rising is an opportunity to engage Calgarians in the issue of violence against women.
She founded the Calgary chapter with students Susannah Walton and Brittany Humphry.
“I’m hoping the event will educate Calgarians about the realities of violence against women that occur in our city and internationally. All over the world, people are gathering for One Billion Rising,” said Humphry. “It is a walkout. People leave work, their classes, to dance in the street to protest violence against women.”
V-Day, held on Valentine’s Day every year, was created by activist Eve Ensler, the creator of the Vagina Monologues. This year marks the 15th anniversary of this global protest against gender violence.
“It is a really symbolic date, and in our culture it is represented by love and it is an important contrast to address the negative sides as well,” said Humphry.
Humphry said there are many resources available for women who have been hurt by gender violence, but more support is needed. She encourages U of C students to participate in the event.
“I would love for every student to come down and see the community activism that will happen,” said Humphry. “It is a real grassroots movement. We want to show that these kinds of movements are possible and that they make a difference.”