Women in Afghanistan on Wednesday expressed their support to the global movement One Billion Rising Revolution 2018 – under the banner of Solidarity Against the Exploitation of Women.
The One Billion Rising Revolution 2018 is held under the moto Rise!, Resist! Unite! and is bringing millions of women together around the world to raise their voices against rape and sexual violence against women.
On Wednesday, women’s rights activists came together in the Afghan capital Kabul in support of the movement. The initiative was organized by the Afghan Women’s Network.
“Our message this year is solidarity, progress, unity and resistance,” said Haseena Safai, chairperson of Afghan Women’s Network.
“We are celebrating the 14th February, we hope that next year on this day, the ministry of women’s affairs announces the establishment of a women’s study center where we can continue scientific research on women’s conditions,” said legal expert Shahla Fareed.
Participants at the gathering expressed deep concerns over what they described as a lack of access to justice for Afghan women.
“We call on the National Unity Government and its international partners to fully support the institutions which are helping the victims of violence. We also reiterate our call for removing all kinds of discrimination against the women in the work place,” said Roshan Mashal, coordinator of a women’s network.
“We see that there are plans, procedures such as citizen charters and other programs, but they must not remain on paper, they need to be implemented,” said Shakila Nazari, media advisor to Afghan Women’s Network.
One Billion Rising is a global movement, founded by Eve Ensler, to end rape and sexual violence against women.
It was started in 2012 as part of the V-Day movement. The "billion" refers to the UN statistic that one in three women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime, or about one billion.
The campaign expands each year. In 2016, the theme of the campaign was Rise for Revolution.
“This year’s campaign will escalate the collective actions of activists worldwide, and amplify their call for systematic changes towards ending violence against women and children once and for all,” said OBR global director, Monique Wilson.
In September 2014, the campaign released the One Billion Rising for Justice video which includes footage from amateur and professional videographers from around the world, as well as interviews with global coordinators.
In January of 2015, the "Rising" video premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. For 2016, the "Rising Revolution" Video Series was released featuring a range of videos that "showcase the collective energy of Revolution by highlighting artistic expressions and RISING victories from around the world with more being added as the campaign unfolds."
In 2012, the One Billion Rising campaign culminated in the biggest mass global action to end violence against women ever with tens of thousands of events held. On September 20, 2012, people from 160 countries had signed up to take part in the campaign. Around 5,000 organizations have joined the campaign, which has also been aided or endorsed by religious leaders, movement builders, actors Rosario Dawson, Robert Redford, and Stella Creasy among others.