Women's rights group stages flash mob in Rome to protest gender violence

One Billion Rising protest in Rome
One Billion Rising protest in Rome Copyright Euronews
Copyright Euronews
By Euronews with EBU
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Every 14th of February, the women's rights group One Billion Rising stages dance protests to call for an end to gender-based violence and show global solidarity for women and girls.


For many, the 14th of February is Valentine's Day, the day of love and romance. But for the women's rights group One Billion Rising, it is a day of action.

One Billion Rising is known for staging dance protests around the world to raise awareness about gender-based violence. 

This year in Rome, as part of a series of events held in the Italian capital by the organisation, 20 dancers and 50 students from Dante Alighieri High School staged a flash mob on the Spanish Steps. 

"Those who have suffered violence would like to erase their bodies," said Linda Foster, the artistic director for the event. "But through this joyful and powerful event, we say we must begin to listen to our bodies, as part of the solution."

One Billion Rising dance protest in Rome
One Billion Rising dance protest in RomeEBU

One Billion Rising coordinator Luisa Rizzitelli added: "Women today die more from the violence they suffer than from cancer or illness. Today we dance, we hear music and we get the youngsters involved to remember this has to be won, this is a battle we must win."

One Billion Rising has its roots in the V-Day Movement of the late 1990s, and was founded by Eve Ensler, author of "The Vagina Monologues".

The organisation invites a billion women to rise, dance, and connect worldwide to demand an end to this violence to show collective strength and global solidarity across all borders.

Since 2013, the collective has been meeting every 14th of February in the streets and squares of 190 countries around the world to dance together to the notes of æBreak the Chain". Participants can learn the choreography online.

According to One Billion Risin' and the UN Population Fund, violence against women and girls is one of the most prevalent, widespread and systematic human rights violations in the world. 

This type of violence knows no social, economic or national boundaries. It is estimated that 35% of women have suffered violence at some point in their lives. In some countries, this number is as high as 70%.

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