New Internationalist

The Philippines joins One Billion Rising

Filipino family
A Filipino woman and her family istolethetv under a CC Licence

Filipino women have joined the call. Yes, we have. On 14 February 2013, the Philippines will hold its own version of the One Billion Rising campaign, a call to rise up and speak out against violence against women, abuse and exploitation.

I first read about this worldwide campaign of one billion women rising up against poverty and violence from a piece by my fellow New Internationalist blogger Mari Marcel Thekaekara and I am proud that women in my own country have joined the call.

The women’s group Gabriela Women’s Party said Filipino women are rising to show their strong and united front against violence, abuse and exploitation against women and their families.

‘We are rising to demand accessible and affordable social services, jobs with living wages, and safe homes,’ said Nere Guerrero, acting chairperson of Gabriela Women’s Party-Quezon City.

The culminating activity will be on 14 February, Valentine’s Day, in a big street-dancing event that will see women from the Philippines join the rest of the world in striking, rising and dancing to uplift the status of women here and elsewhere.

‘One Billion Rising – Philippines (OBR-PH) will be distinguished by the synchronous dancing of women in factories, schools, farms, the streets, in communities, in market places and many other places, to a unique Filipino rhythm and choreography. It will mobilize hundreds of thousands of women, men and children who are one with the struggle to uphold, respect and assert women’s rights,’ Gabriela Women’s Party said on its website.

Data from Gabriela also showed that in the Philippines, at least half a million women are victims of prostitution, which included around 100,000 children.

Two cases of rape against women and children are being reported every three hours, the group also said.

‘But sexual and physical violence are not the only forms of violence against women and children. Economic deprivation and political persecution are also among the common forms affecting more than 60 per cent of Filipino women, who mostly belong to the marginalized sectors,’ Gabriela Party Representative Emmi De Jesus said.

‘With the increasing number of Filipinos having access to the internet, electronic violence against women is also increasing, affecting most especially young girls and women,’ she continued.

So I am pleased that Filipinos are adding their voices to the One Billion Rising campaign.

As Mari said in her blog, ‘we need to bring in forms of protest that revitalize and energize us, as we continue to fight our good fights.

‘It will surely be a wonderful sight to watch One Billion Rising. Even more wonderful to be a part of it all.’

Ultimately, our aim must be that no woman or girl will ever be a victim of sexual violence, physical abuse or sexual trafficking again. 

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  1. #1 Annelise 31 Jan 13

    Hi! I really enjoyed reading your article. Do you know what time the One Billion Rising street dance event is happening on Feb. 14? I have been scouring the web and can find all the information except the actual timing...I really want to participate and need to know if I need to take time off work or if I can go after work. Any help on where to find this information would be awesome! Thanks.


  2. #2 Iris Gonzales 31 Jan 13

    Hi Annelise,

    Thank you for reading and thanks for the comment. I'm not sure about the time but I think it will be in the evening, starting from around 6 probably. You may call Gabriela Women's Party which is part of the organizing team. Here are the contact details: 332-7551 Email:

    I hope this helps. Thank you!

  3. #3 Iris Gonzales 02 Feb 13

    Hi Annelise,

    I just learned that the street dancing on Feb 14 for One Billion Rising starts at 6 pm in Tomas Morato, Quezon City. Hope you can join!

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About the author

Iris Gonzales a New Internationalist contributor

Iris Cecilia Gonzales is a Filipino journalist and blogger. At present, she covers economic news for a Manila broadsheet, but she also writes other stories here and there. She has been blogging since 2004 on various issues including women and children and human rights. She is among the winners in the TH!NK 3 global blogging competition organized by the Netherlands-based European Journalism Centre.

You may email her at

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