A remarkable new movement has hits the streets.
Yesterday, ¬†millions danced in over 200¬†countries in support of One Billion Rising, a campaign to end sexual violence and abuse against women all over the world. ¬†
One Billion Rising was founded by activist and playwright of the Vagina Monologues, Eve Ensler.
The number one billion comes from a United Nations¬†assessment¬†that 1 in 3 women in the world, or about 1 billion, will be victims of violence at the hands of men in their lifetime.¬†
After the horrendous gang-rape of 23 year old student in New Delhi in December, several hundred men, women and children rallied and danced Thursday night on the streets of Delhi. This event took a different attitude from the recent protests which have been¬†occurring¬†in New Delhi.
It portrayed a positive¬†message instead of negative hostility toward the government. South Asia's One Billion Rising coordinator, Kamla Bhasin was quoted regarding the movement,
"We don't want violence; we want love... a love based on equality."
This event was also highly attended by men who wished to change the culture of violence and to not be seen as predators.¬†
In San¬†Francisco, inmates joined the movement by¬†participating in a flash mob to "Break the Chains" by Tena Clark and choreographed by Debbie Allen. This dance was circulated on¬†YouTube¬†and thousands danced to it all over the world.¬†
Debbie Allen herself led 2,000 people ¬†in Atlanta's largest flash mob in history. ¬†Other speakers at the Atlanta rally included SPANX founder Sara Blakely, Rev. Dr. Bernice King and Evelyn Lowery.¬†
D.C. rallied in favor of the¬†re authorization¬†of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) which expands violence protection to Native American victims of violence and the LGBT community.
The act's passed in the Senate 78-22.
However, the bill will have more¬†difficulty¬†in the Republican controlled House.
President Obama mentioned the bill in his State of the Union address on Tuesday, saying
"It's now time for the House to follow suit and send this bill to my desk so that I can sign it into law."
Eve Ensler, who danced¬†in the Democratic Republic of Congo was overjoyed by the success of the One Billion Rising movement. Even the UN endorsed the event and apparently took a¬†break¬†from work and had a rising. ¬†On the phone, Ensler told reporters,¬†
"I don't think violence against women will get marginalized again.. I think it has moved to the center of the agenda as of today."