Men and women danced together this Valentine’s Day at Nathan Phillips Square for the One Billion Rising celebration. Highlighting the cause to end violence against women and girls, the event in downtown Toronto was one of many occurring around the world today. The global revolution is a display of collective strength. It also demonstrates solidarity with women who have been victims of rape and violence.
“I am another voice and I am here with my wife and child,” said Ali Khan, as he danced with his young daughter.
“But this must be more than a day of advocacy. It must be a day that triggers action,” said United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, in a statement about the world wide event.
A commission on the status of women will convene at the United Nations headquarters in New York in March. Eighteen governments from around the world will send representatives to attend the meeting to develop strategies and policies in an effort to end gender-based violence. Improved access to justice, developing and ratifying international conventions and standards, toughening punishment, and better education to enhance awareness are amongst the strategies being put forward.
“By standing together we can end violence against women and girls and build a world where all live free from harassment and fear. This will have benefits that reverberate far beyond the affected individuals as they become empowered to help create a better world,” said Ban.