One Billion Rising Africa 2021 was launched virtually on the 5th November 2020 under the Theme: "Africa Rising for Women, Girls, Women Workers and mother earth for equal opportunity and sustenance through Rising Gardens".
Africa is joining the Global call Rising Gardens under the above mentioned theme. Given the Challenges that Women and girls in Africa are facing which are exacerbated by patriarchal/cultural and religious beliefs, political instability, corruption, violent conflict and colonialism.
Africa is Rising for Amplification of Women Voices (which most of the time our stories are not told and our voices suppressed by patriarchal/ cultural and religious beliefs)
Africa is Rising Against Violence to women’s bodies (with Covid -19 we have seen an increase of cases of violence in particular domestic violence), where women and girls are the most affected). This is not a new situation, however the pandemic has worsened it. This then tells us that for every pandemic that we are facing or that will come women are or will be the most affected.
Africa is Rising against child marriage, we have seen that Because of the patriarchal beliefs and with the high level of poverty in Africa, we have seen young girls married off by their parents.
Africa is rising against exploitations of land and resources by foreign multinationals inside the African continent - Africa is rich in terms of natural resources, however, it is unfortunate that this wealth has been tarnished by corruption, violent conflict and colonialism. We see minerals in some African Countries exported outside Africa, leaving Africa poor.
Africa is Rising for the right of Women to own and inherit land and property- Even though women are the ones who use land most of the time, we have seen in some countries denied ownership of land.
Africa is Rising for equal wage for workers, Women are underpaid most of the time yet they contribute or hold equal positions with male counterparts.
Africa is Rising in honor of front line workers, survivors of violence and mother earth.
In Addition the One Billion Rising 2021 call for Rising Gardens therefore takes up protest against the above mentioned and it escalate its action to ensure that women are given a strong voice to speak for the protection of their bodies, Protection of their rights and Protection of mother earth through the rising gardens.
The Launch was attended by more than 80 participants who joined the zoom call from all over Africa and abroad. In Some Countries Members of parliament joined the call, Senior government officials, Media representatives, women’s movements, activists, Representatives of Non-Government Organizations and The Africa Coordinators from 20 Countries. The Africa Launch was also live streamed on One Billion Rising Eswatini Facebook Page where about 150 people followed the discussions.
Speakers included One Billion Rising Campain Founder, V ( formerly known as Eve Ensler), The Global Director Monique Wilson, Executive Director Of City Of Joy Christine Schuler Deschryver from DRC, Woman Farmer Foundation Executive Director Ms Sonia Paiva from ESwatini, International Women’s peace Group in Southern Africa Ms Nancy Roussopoulos from South Africa and One Billion Rising Coordinator in Nigeria Omondele Ibitoye. According to the Africa Regional Coordinator Ms. Colani Hlatjwako who was Program Director “The launch was aimed at learning from each other and more than anything build solidarity on the different work that we do in our different countries” she said.
Globally we are currently all faced with the Covid 19 pandemic which has left us in fear, some have lost their loved ones, others are still fighting for their lives. Participants took a moment to honor those who have been affected by covid- 19, honor front line workers, who risked their lives to serve us. They also took a moment in honor of the survivors of violence in Africa and across the globe
One Billion Rising is the biggest mass action to end violence against women (cisgender, transgender, and those who hold fluid identities that are subject to gender-based violence) in human history. The campaign, which was launched on Valentine’s Day 2012, began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. And With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS. Currently the campaign is in more than 200 countries globally.
In Africa the campaign is in 20 countries ( Eswatini, South Africa, Mozambique, Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Gabon, Malawi, Nigeria, Ghana, Mali, Namibia, Kenya, Uganda, Togo, Cameroon and Senegal that have coordinators and we are looking forward to having more countries joining the campaign in Africa. It is so exciting that we always see other private risings in countries where there are no coordinators. Every year we have been seeing Powerful Risings across Africa and we would have not achieved that without the Amazing Coordinators.
Entertainment was rendered by our Powerful Poets in Africa, That include; Eswatini Poet Dzelisile Mdluli, South Africa Well Known Poet Jessica Mbangeni and Namibia Poet who is also One Billion Rising Coordinator Irene Garoes.
More countries are invited to join the Campaign in Africa. It is believed that if we come together as a continent and stand against violence to women and girls, stand against environmental blunder we will see change. We cannot beat fascists, rapists, climate deniers and plunderers on their terms. We will never be that cruel, discompassionate, greedy, or murderous. We cannot let ourselves be changed by or sunk in their cynicism, hatred, divisions and destruction.
One Billion Rising Campaign