Valentine’s day 2016: One Billion Rising

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Photo: One Billion Rising
Photo: One Billion Rising

On 14 February, the University’s feminist society will be hosting One Billion Rising Revolution as will several other universities in the United Kingdom. One Billion Rising Revolution stems from the yearly V-Day campaign to end violence against women. The campaign was originally launched on Valentine’s Day in 1998. Responding to the horrifying statistic that one in three women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime, the event seeks to raise awareness for the injustices occurring against women, as well as to promote an end to these type of crimes. Past events have focused largely on justice for survivors of domestic violence, particularly highlighting the impunity that often occurs “at the intersection of poverty, racism, war, the plunder of the environment, capitalism, imperialism and patriarchy.” The theme for last year’s campaign, “revolution,” echoes past events, while simultaneously calling for an escalated response to injustices.[pullquote]One in three women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime[/pullquote]

This year’s event is a continuation of last year’s, extending its perimeters to focus particularly on marginalised women. With activists hosting V-Day in over two hundred different countries this year, women from all over the world will be calling for a change to the current paradigm. According to the One Billion Rising campaign, they will be “demanding accountability, justice and systematic change.”

This year’s St Andrews event will include multiple talks and workshops, all aimed at raising awareness of domestic violence. The event will also include information on how to support rape-survivors. In the past, the St Andrews feminist society has organised a multitude of successful events and V-Day is predicted to be no exception to this trend. Collaborating with a string of female-oriented charities, such as Amina (The Muslim Woman’s Resource Centre), Broken Rainbow, Rape Crises Scotland, and the White Ribbon campaign. The event will provide an intersectional focus: the variety of representatives present will provide an incredible range of different positions on the subject, encompassing perspectives from the LGBT community, the UK’s Islamic community, as well from predominantly male charities.

Photo: V-Day St Andrews
Photo: V-Day St Andrews

The event will be taking place in conjunction with a performance of The Vagina Monologues. With this production exploring feminine experiences “from the damn-right hilarious, to truly moving and shocking” this year’s Valentine’s Day will encompass a manifold of female-oriented events. The play’s focus on non-consensual sexual encounters echoes sentiments associated with the V-Day campaign. Regarded as a cornerstone of the V- Day movement, universities all around the world will be staging similar pro- ductions of the The Vagina Monologues this month. All proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to charity.

Ultimately, this event demonstrates the University community’s dedication to the promotion of women’s rights, reiterating the sentiments expressed by the numerous student-run organisations. By exhibiting such a diverse range of perspectives on the matter of violence against women, V-Day will certainly be a feat for both the feminist society, as well as for the St Andrews community itself.

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