It's amazing to see more women boldly speaking out about the change they want to make. With Greta Thunberg's #FridaysforFuture movement, the chants for equal pay at the U.S. Women's World Cup, and the NYC women workers wage protest, we've seen the power of our collective voice.
On Valentine's Day every year, there is an especially important cause for speaking out: millions of women and men worldwide join together in solidarity to spread awareness for violence against women and girls. It's called One Billion Rising.
This year's theme is about revolution and uniting in action to end exploitation and violence against women in all of its forms. With powerful dancing, storytelling, art exhibits and films, individuals are standing up for cultural change and for an equal future for all.
We're grateful to be at an incredible point where women's voices are being heard and amplified into action. Here are 6 simple ways you can help empower women with the V-Day movement to make a difference on Valentine's Day and every day.
1. Live out your activism.
While it might not be obvious, each of us has a surprising and significant influence on the lives of others... on people we don't even know. We all have something that we care deeply about, and advocacy has a huge impact in communities everywhere. One brave voice is enough to open up a channel for others to share their experiences. So set aside time to finally give the cause that keeps nagging at your heart the attention it deserves. By stepping out of our bubbles of work stress and worries, we hold incredible power to strive for something greater that affects us all.
2. Support women around you.
When we have each other as support, we are more empowered to call out systems of sexual, physical, economic, and racial violence. On a global level and in our personal spheres, we can break down barriers that separate us and create connections with coworkers, family and acquaintances. With less division, there is more strength to uplift one another as allies. This means celebrating our shared successes and milestones! Each step moves us closer to our common goal of a brighter, more equal world for women and girls everywhere.
3. Be part of a global movement.
One Billion Rising was started 8 years ago by Eve Ensler, and has since grown to include more than 200 countries with thousands of communities coming together to take action to support and empower women. Passionate individuals are taking a stand against poverty, racism, labor exploitation and environmental abuse that lead to ongoing injustice and gender violence. As a social enterprise that supports women, we believe in equal opportunity and equal rights for all women and girls. That is why we rise to fight gender violence, systemic poverty and the abuse of refugee and immigrant women.
4. Listen to women's stories.
There's incredible power in listening to someone's story first-hand. Working with the Burmese and Congolese women refugees in our studio, we are grateful to hear their stories of resilience. A second incredible place to hear true and vastly diverse experiences is at a V-Day event. Eve Ensler created the award-winning play The Vagina Monologues to raise awareness about violence and sexual abuse experienced by women with storytelling. It's profound, powerful, and full of joys and hardships. All proceeds from V-Day events go to organizations that support victims of violence and sexual abuse.
5. Stand against injustice.
When we call out and resist discrimination in the workplace, in the classroom and in local policies, we are making ripples of change. Discrimination has a way of creeping up in places we never imagined encountering it. The most important thing each of us can do is take a stand and speak out wherever we see it. When you see someone else stand up, stand with them! There are more of us on this earth who are ready to help and uplift others than tear people down. Acting together in our communities, we're powerful enough to pave a change for equality and fairness.
6. Rise up (and dance!) in solidarity.
Our bodies are a visible and quite alive form of resistance and strength that can't go missed. V-Day's powerful anthem Break The Chain and the One Billion Rising dance bring incredible energy to the global movement to end violence against women and girls. Art has a profound way of creating understanding, and activism through art inspires action across communities. See which V-Day dance, music, poetry, and film events are near you to stand with women everywhere.
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