One Billion Rising 2013
February 18, 2013
On V-Day’s 15th Anniversary, 14 February 2013 (Valentine’s Day), the organisers invited ONE BILLION women and those who love them to walk out, dance, rise up and demand an end to the violence. It is hoped the collective strength, numbers, and solidarity across borders can bring about change.
History: In 1994, a play called The Vagina Monologues, written by playwright and activist Eve Ensler, broke new ground, offering the world a piece of art like nothing it had seen before. Based on dozens of interviews Ensler conducted with women, the play addressed women’s sexuality and the social stigma surrounding rape and abuse, creating a new conversation about and with women. The Vagina Monologues ran Off-Broadway for five years in New York and then toured the United States. After every performance, Ensler found women waiting to share their own stories of survival, leading her to see that The Vagina Monologues could be more than a moving work of art on violence; she divined that the performances could be a mechanism for moving people to act to end violence.
On Valentine’s Day, 1998, Eve, with a group of women in New York City, established V-Day. Set up as a 501(c)(3) and originally staffed by volunteers, the organisation’s seed money came from a star-studded, sold out benefit performance at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, a show that raised $250,000 in a single evening.
V-Day’s mission is simple. It demands that violence against women and girls must end. To do this, once a year, in February, March, and April, Eve allows groups around the world to produce a performance of the play, as well as other works created by V-Day, and use the proceeds for local individual projects and programmes that work to end violence against women and girls, often shelters and rape crisis centers. What began as one event in New York City in 1998 today includes over 5,800 V-Day events annually.
Performance is just the beginning. V-Day stages large-scale benefits and produces innovative gatherings, films and campaigns to educate and change social attitudes towards violence against women.
In New Zealand a number of large events were held in Auckland, Wellington and Levin with smaller events around the country in venues such as Dave’s Backyard in Invercargill.
- Auckland held their event at Whenua Rangatira Takaparawhau Bastion Point organised by the Wise Women Collective.
- Wellington had Zumba Latina, Pasifika Aerobics and special CubanFusion Infusion at Frank Kitts Park. The event was organised by Te Rito Wellington Family Violence Network and the Wellington City Council.
- Levin held a march down the main street and was organised by HALT
- Nelson held an event on the Church Steps at the top of Trafalgar St. Check out the video from Nelson below.