Meanwhile, prior to the awards ceremony, Best Actress nominee Reese Witherspoon called for a more dignified line of questioning on the red carpet rather than just what women are wearing by sharing an Instagram post with the hashtag #AskHerMore.
As March – National Women’s History Month – approaches, activities promoting awareness and understanding of women’s achievements, rights, ideas, and deserved place in society seem to trigger a lot of conversation. Just this February, women from over 200 countries gathered en masse in an ongoing annual awareness and advocacy campaign to end violence against women and girls. ABS-CBN’s The Filipino Channel (TFC) showed solidarity with the global movement by representing and supporting the campaign in San Francisco City Hall last February 12 which was organized and sponsored by V-DAY, City and County of San Francisco, Filipina Women’s Network (FWN), San Francisco Department on the Status of Women, San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium, and the San Francisco Office of the District Attorney.
This movement is called “One Billion Rising”, a call to action based on the statistic that one in three women in the planet, or roughly one billion women and girls, will be beaten or raped during their lifetimes. Each year, the campaign focuses on a different theme: last year it was “Justice”. This year, it is “Revolution” because as movement founder Eve Ensler said, if societies want to stop attacks on women, it’s the systems that need to change.
The San Francisco event – attended by Mayor Ed Lee, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, officers and members of the sponsoring organizations, grassroots activists and hundreds of community leaders from various fields and their families – was a multicultural event that united in spirit with various “risings” around the world: from Freedom Park in Manila, Philippines to the Malaika School of Girls in Congo, to the men reading Eve Ensler’s piece “Man Prayer” in Sante Fe, New Mexico, to the dancing Southeast Asian domestic workers in Hong Kong, to the families that gathered to “Drum! Dance! Rise!” at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, the Marble Arch in London, the city square of Arco, Italy, and St Kilda Foreshore in Melbourne, Australia, and to star-studded events in the five boroughs of New York, to mention a few.
“Filipino women have been very much a part of the community in San Francisco since it’s very diverse,” said ABS-CBN North America Managing Director Olivia De Jesus in an interview with Rommel Conclara of Balitang America. “We are one with them in joining this cause in rising against violence towards women in general.”
“Our work isn’t done yet,” said FWN CEO and Founder Marily Mondejar. “There’s still more that we have to do but every year we gather so that we can think about what we have done, what we still need to do and what issues we still need to solve.”
Dance is dangerous, joyous,
sexual, holy, disruptive,
contagious, it breaks the rules.
It can happen anywhere, anytime,
with anyone and everyone, and
it’s free. Dancing insists we take
up space, we go there together
in community. Dance joins us
and pushes us to go further and
that is why it’s at the center of
One Billion Rising.
– Eve Ensler, founder, One Billion Rising