Within the scope of the One Billion Rising campaign, citizens in Kosovo have protested against violence towards women for the third consecutive year. According to official statistics, worldwide one in three women is raped or experiences violence in the family in her lifetime.
In February 2013, one billion men and women worldwide took to the streets to protest violence against women through dancing. Now this worldwide campaign is organized in more than 200 countries, including Kosovo, which has been part of the campaign since its very beginning.
This years’ One Billion Rising events made use of musical instruments such as drums, percussions and tambourines to protest against violence against women. Hence, on 14 Feb. dozens of Kosovo citizens assembled at Skenderbeu Square from which they marched to Zahir Pajaziti Square with loud musical instruments. The march was led by two professional musicians.
The march attracted the attention of many citizens throughout the city, many of whom joined the march. The march halted at “Zahir Pajaziti” square, where Dardana Mehmeti held a brief speech, and citizens had the opportunity to witness and join the traditional One Billion Rising dance performed and prepared by Artpolis.
“I am very happy that our country is part of this amazing initiative, we need to continue to organize more similar campaigns,” said one participant. “We cannot stop until women and girls are free to walk through public spaces without being harassed.”
In Kosovo, the campaign was is organized by a coalition of organizations that included the Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN), Artpolis, Alter Habitus, Qendra, and the Program for Gender Studies. It received support from UNFPA.