BARBADOS JOINS GLOBAL CAMPAIGN TO STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN & GIRLS
Barbados has joined ONE BILLION RISING (OBR), a global movement to stop violence and sexual violation against women and girls and is inviting women and men to Heroes Square on Thursday, February 14 at 11:30 am for the largest day of action for V-Day, the global activist movement to end these brutalities.
Locally, the ONE BILLION RISING activities kicked off over the weekend at the Bay Street Esplanade where the OBR Barbados Planning Committee and representatives of the agencies it is supporting, including the SAVE Foundation, the National Organisation of Women, and UN Women, met for the first dance rehearsal of the OBR Anthem, Break the Chain.
According to a study conducted by the World Bank in 2007, violence against women seems to be endemic in Caribbean countries. This study also reported that while the worldwide average for rapes was 15 per 100,000, Caribbean countries exceeded this average.
ONE BILLION RISING began as a call to action based on the troubling statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than one billion women and girls.
The OBR Barbados Planning Committee says these statistics for both the region and the world are unacceptable. “Women have made tremendous gains over past decades and centuries. However, these achievements are overshadowed by the harrowing statistics of violence against women. It is for this reason we are joining the global ONE BILLION RISING movement and demanding change.”
The committee added that the OBR Barbados event would be unprecedented. “All women’s groups in Barbados including the SAVE Foundation, National Organisation of Women, YWCA, Business and Professional Women’s Club of Barbados, and UN Women are coming together for the very first time as a force to be reckoned with. We are calling Barbadians, men and women, schools, church and community groups to stop what they normally do and gather at 12 noon on Valentine’s Day in Heroes Square to dance together in solidarity against violence. We are calling them to refuse to participate in the status quo until rape and rape culture ends in Barbados.”
OBR Barbados has created a Facebook pages to educate Barbadians about the local OBR initiative as well as violence against women and girls at: www.facebook.com/groups/OBRbarbados and www.facebook.com/OneBillionRisingBarbados.
Eve Ensler is an American activist and founder of V-Day. She said, “When we started V-Day 14 years ago, we had the outrageous idea that we could end violence against women. Now, we are both stunned and thrilled to see that this global action is escalating and gaining force, with union workers, parliament members, celebrities, and women of all backgrounds coming forward to join the campaign. When we come together on 14 February 2013 to demand an end to violence against women and girls it will be a truly global voice that will rise up.”