Violence against women and girls continues unabated in every continent, country and culture. It takes a devastating toll on women’s lives, on their families and on society as a whole. Most societies prohibit such violence – yet the reality is that too often, it is covered up or tacitly condoned. Given that it is estimated that, worldwide, one in three women will become a victim of rape or beaten in her lifetime and that One Billion women violated is an atrocity, V-DAY DRC announces the launch of One Billion Rising Revolution 2017.
Since 14 February 2013, V-DAY and City of Joy together with V-activists, friends and risers take action to end violence against women and girls across the globe. In so doing, V-DAY Congo reached and mobilized a great number of people to express their outrage, to strike, to drum, to act, to dance and to rise against violence against women and girls in their households, families, labor places, churches, etc. We succeeded to reach people who stood in solidarity to denounce and stand against the forms of violence against women and girls.
On November 25, 2016, the beginning of 16 days of activism, One Billion Rising is announced in DRC. It starts the 5th year of the campaign for Revolution and Change of long existing paradigms. The campaign is announced with the theme: Solidarity to End the Exploitation of Women. The campaign will bring focus to the exploitation of women with a view to promote and harness even stronger global solidarity through actions and demands and create strong bonds to end all forms of violence against women on the planet in general and in DRC in particular.
This year, the fight will continue and become bolder and efforts will escalate. It will cross boundaries. We are launching OBR in DRC as we want to connect with and stand in solidarity with women and girls who are exploited. The planning of V-day Congo to stand against the exploitation of women is to invite and send calls to everyone to unite around common goals and demands because we believe and acknowledge that women have many power to challenge patriarchal social structures that promote gender injustice. We will invest in promoting ideas of solidarity and taking action which are transformational and which can provide the base for the creation of a society in which togetherness is dominant. We will rise, and disrupt any infringement of women’s rights and connect with exploited women and act together and voice their wishes. Our view holds that the connection with exploited women, the discussion with them, and the action together can allow all of us (risers and activists) to reconstruct women’s interests and wishes so as to make them compatible.
What is V-DAY DRC’s understanding of solidarity?
V-Day DRC understands that solidarity occurs when a group or a person accepts the claim that one has a moral/political obligation to defend the group or somebody’s rights or interests against opponents who threatens those interests. Solidarity describes a group of people (humans) that comes together and bases all their actions on common interests in opposition to injustice or oppression. Solidarity is synonymous to taking action for the welfare of your sister, your brother, your nature, etc.
What are the actions that we plan to take?
From the launch of OBR 2017, V-DAY DRC has decided to collect funds starting from the staffs. The funds will be raised in order to come to the help of women and girls in their communities. Our target is women and the population who are displaced because of war at its aftermath, the population who survived massacre, old people homes, orphanages, hospitals, and the disaster-stricken population. It is also women who are exploited in their communities.
In addition to funds that will be collected, V-DAY DRC has also planned to collect such things as clothes, utensils, etc. And in January 2017, we will brainstorm how to organize an event that will specifically deal with solidarity from our homes, City of Joy, to the society.
The understanding of solidarity will not be limited to fund collection but also it will extend our theme of last year in DRC. Thus, solidarity with the nature will also be one of our priorities. We will campaign for the protection of Mother Nature as we did last year. We will talk about the connection between human and nature and society. We will praise the benefits that the nature offers and that human enjoy freely. We will campaign for reforestation with clear evidence from the V-World farm. The campaign will be made with City of Joy residents who will be commissioned to join their communities and do the same. The media; social network, billposting and radio programs will be used to spread the messages of the campaign wider and farther.