People In At Least 200 Countries Are Protesting Violence Against Women

On Feb. 14, men and women around the world danced for “One Billion Rising,” an initiative created by Eve Ensler to end gendered and sexual violence worldwide.

1. Yesterday millions of people in China, Mexico, and at least 200 other countries danced through the streets to raise awareness for all survivors of gendered violence.

Update — Feb. 16, 1:45 p.m. ET: In an email to BuzzFeed, One Billion Rising said it recognizes what the activists involved in the protests submitted as countries. For example, Palestine, Kosovo, Taiwan, Tibet, among other nations, are recognized as countries to the group.

2. The event, called “One Billion Rising For Justice,” was founded by The Vagina Monologues writer Eve Ensler.

Francois Lenoir / Reuters

Brussels

3. It’s meant to represent a break for survivors of violence who feel “confinement, obligation, shame, guilt, grief, pain, humiliation, and rage” the website says.

Brussels/ Francois Lenoir / Reuters

Survivors’ stories have been “buried, denied, erased, altered, and minimized,” the organization says.

4. The event lasts 48 hours and aims to include one billion men, women and children.

Tyrone Siu / Reuters

Hong Kong

“One in three women will be beaten or raped in her lifetime — which is one billion women — so I thought, ‘What if 1 billion people stood up against gendered violence?’” Eve Ensler told BuzzFeed.

The theme this year was “justice,” in part to frame women’s rights as an issue that affects everybody, Ensler said.

“You cannot really look at any violence against women without looking at economic issues or environmental issues,” said Ensler. “This year people can choose what they want to rise for. We’re so used to siloing our issues in a way that keeps them nonthreatening. Now we’re trying to say, ‘We’re all part of the same story.’”

6. Here are a few of the places where survivors and supporters participated in the protest:

8. Abu Dabi, United Arab Emirates

14. India

15. The Gambia

16. Santa Fe, N.M.

17. Last Valentine’s Day, people in 207 countries also participated in “One Billion Rising.”

Video from last year’s event

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