Every year on Valentine’s Day, millions of women and men worldwide stand together to raise awareness for violence against women and girls. It's called One Billion Rising. With powerful dancing, art exhibits, films, and storytelling, individuals are rising up with their communities to call for cultural change. On a day that celebrates love, V-Day inspires us to take action to create a world where women are empowered and treated equally.
This year's theme is about solidarity and coming together to end all forms of exploitation and violence against women. With the #MeToo campaign, #TimesUp, and the Women's March, we've reached an incredible point where women's voices are rising to make a positive collective impact. Here are 6 simple ways you can join the global V-Day movement and support women with your everyday actions.
1. Advocate for what you believe.
We all have something that we care deeply about, and advocacy has a huge impact. Set aside time to finally give the cause that keeps nagging at your heart the attention it deserves. With the V-Day movement, people around the world are championing for the causes they are passionate about. As a social enterprise that supports women, we believe in equal opportunity and equal rights for all women and girls. This year we're rising against gender violence, the cycle of poverty, and the abuse of migrant and immigrant people. What will you rise for?
2. Be an ally to others.
By being an ally to our friends, colleagues, or loved ones who are facing injustices, we are creating more momentum for their cause. It might seem like a silly reminder, but anyone who is passionate about creating change can stand up for gender equality. Opening your heart and mind to others' experiences, especially when they are vastly different than yours, is what brings us together for progress. We all desire the basic human rights of safety, freedom, opportunity, and livelihood. Just by uplifting and supporting women daily, we are brightening others' lives.
3. Support a global movement.
Social movements are one of the strongest ways to support cultural change. When we collaborate and work toward a shared goal, our efforts for equality and justice gain incredible momentum that radiates around the globe. Since its founding 7 years ago, One Billion Rising has grown to include more than 200 participating countries and thousands of communities rising up for change. Uniting against poverty, racism, labor exploitation, and environmental abuse are critical for ending injustice and gender violence. For one of us to thrive, we must all thrive.
4. Rise up against discrimination.
Discrimination has a way of creeping up in places we never imagined encountering it. Yet it's there, and the most important thing each of us can do is say something - don't let it slip by. And when you see someone else stand up, stand with them! When we have each other as support, we are more empowered against injustices in the workplace or in a classroom. These small ways of living our our activism and values add up to create a collective impact.
5. Listen to women’s stories.
One incredible place to hear untold truths and vastly diverse experiences from women is at a V-Day event in February. The "V" stands for victory, valentine, and vagina. Started by Eve Ensler in 1998, the award-winning play The Vagina Monologues was created to raise awareness about violence and sexual abuse experienced by females with storytelling. If you haven’t seen the play yet, it's profound, powerful, and full of joys and hardships. V-Day events are scattered all across the U.S. and all proceeds go to organizations that support victims of violence and sexual abuse.
6. Stand up (and dance!) in solidarity.
The powerful song Break The Chain and the One Billion Rising dance is what gives V-Day its incredible energy. Art has a profound way of inspiring action, and activism through art creates a personal and meaningful touch. Our bodies are a powerful form of resistance and strength. See what V-Day dance, music, poetry, and film events are happening near you and join in solidarity with women everywhere.