Although the 14th of February is celebrated worldwide as the day of lovers, activists for women and girls rights for several years now are manifesting differently on this date. This is thanks to the One Billion Rising global campaign – an initiative which started since February 2012. It all started as a call for action based on disturbing statistics which show that 1 in 3 women in the world is physically assaulted or raped during their lifetime. With a global population reaching 7 billion, this means that more than 1 billion women and girls experience different forms of violence.
Kosovo has become part of this initiative by organizing every year the One Billion Rising event, since the first campaign at the global level. On this day, feminist activists, women and girls rights activists, individuals and organizations in Kosovo have joined the march, singing and dancing, thus becoming part of events taking place all over the world.
Kosovo is part of the One Billion Rising this year as well, calling to stop the exploitation of women and girls. Exploitation means treating a person unfairly in order to benefit from the work of such person, as well as exploitation to benefit from the resources taken from the person that is being exploited. Exploitation is even harder for women and girls; abuse of power has been made against them in all spheres of life, starting at home, work and economically where they are given a little chance for survival.
In Prishtina and Mitrovica, marches, performances and the already traditional dance under the sound of Break the Chain, which also is the anthem of the One Billion Rising campaign, were organised. One Billion Rising was organized by the non-governmental organizations ARTPOLIS supported by the Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN), Freedom and Human Rights Initiative, Kosovo Youth Council, Center for Equality and Liberty for the LGBT (CEL), Kosovar Gender Studies Center, and Peer Educators Network.