Global campaign targeting violence against women

RAISING AWARENESS::More than 5,000 organizations and 161 countries have signed up to take part in a mass event on Valentine’s Day

Staff Writer, with CNA

Sat, Jan 12, 2013 - Page 3

A global movement pushing for an end to violence against women is coming to Taiwan on Valentine’s Day, and both men and women are invited to join the campaign, a local foundation said yesterday.

The US-based One Billion Rising campaign is calling for 1 billion women and men around the world to raise awareness of violence against women by walking out and dancing on the streets on Feb. 14, said the Garden of Hope Foundation, which is heading the campaign in Taiwan.

Janelle Chung (鍾曉慧), a Singaporean who is in Taiwan for a 63-day cycling tour around the nation to celebrate her 30th birthday, said she hopes to recruit at least 1,000 Taiwanese to join the movement.

Chung said that before coming to Taiwan she read about the internationally reported case of an Indian woman who died following a gang rape in New Delhi, prompting her to join the foundation’s initiative.

She also hoped that people will buy the foundation’s Hakka flower-pattern headscarf, the proceeds of which will be donated to female victims of violence and child welfare activities, she said.

The name of the One Billion Rising campaign is based on statistics indicating that one in three women on the planet will be beaten or raped during their lifetime, the foundation said.

With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than 1 billion women and girls who are living under such risk, it said.

The campaign was initiated by the US-based nonprofit V-Day organization, which was founded 15 years ago by playwright Eve Ensler, whose play The Vagina Monologues grabbed the world’s attention.

The One Billion Rising campaign is V-Day’s most ambitions project, with more than 5,000 organizations and 161 countries having signed up to participate, the foundation said.

Following stops last year in countries including Australia, the US, the UK and the Philippines, Ensler will visit India and Bangladesh this month.