OBR movement an opportunity to ‘restore hope’ in spite of prevailing gender-based violence — Gabriela

There are still loads of things to do in order to thoroughly defeat and eradicate all forms of gender-based violence, said Gabriela, but amid all these hardships, a silver lining lingers through the public’s continuous commitment to resist and unite against inhumanity.

Rise For Freedom: One Billion Rising 2023 (Photo courtesy of Gabriela)

On its tenth year anniversary, One Billion Rising (OBR) – a global movement against gender-based violence – emphasized the need to “Rise for Freedom.” In the Philippines, the campaign was spearheaded by Gabriela in partnership with the Quezon City government.

Women-led organizations, progressive groups, children, and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual + (LGBTQIA+) community took part in dancing and singing as a way to artistically express their resistance to violence.

OBR Global Director and Gabriela International Officer Monique Wilson explained why they have chosen the theme “Rise For Freedom” during the event, which was held in Quezon City.

“Ten years na tayong bumabangon, marami na tayong nagawa, at marami na tayong transformation, pero ang realidad, nandito pa rin ang karahasan sa kababaihan, kabataan, at LGBTQIA (We have been rising for ten years, we have done a lot, and we have transformations, but in reality, violence against women, children and LGBTQIA is still here),” Wilson said.

“Marami pa tayong kailangan na ipaglaban. Ang gusto nating makamit ay a world free from violence. Doon lang natin masasabi na meron tayong freedom (We still have to fight for a lot of things. What we want to achieve is a world free from violence. Only then will we be able to say that we have freedom),” she said.

Despite the turbulent journey and the daily hardships that they are facing, Wilson emphasized that the global movement also serves as an opportunity to “restore hope” that their goals will soon be attained.

“We need to restore our hope. It is a difficult journey, that is why through our risings, we try hope, but we will only be able to achieve it if we collectively stand,” she said in Filipino.

Citing the Philippine National Police’s data, Gabriela disclosed that at least 5,339 cases of abuse were recorded in the first half of 2022 alone.