By international volunteer Melanie Sheehan, Capacity Development Advisor for Banteay Srei
On Valentines Day, 14th February 2013, Sok Panha, Director of Banteay Srei, and international volunteer Melanie Sheehan went to Freedom Park in Phnom Penh to join One Billion Rising, the largest global action in history calling for an end to violence against women and girls.
The event in Phnom Penh was organised by GADC (Gender and Development for Cambodia), whose Youth Activist group led the dancing to the official One Billion Rising song, “Break the Chain”, which was sung in Khmer.
The crowd also enjoyed a variety of entertainment, including a Korean dance display by Lee Bong Gyo, a hip hop display by children with HIV/Aids from Women Networking, a play about violence against women by Harpswell Foundation’s volunteers, and speeches, including a representative from the Ministry of Women’s Affairs.
Many of those who attended the event also showed their support for the One Billion Rising campaign by taking part in creating a large mural, which was later displayed for all to see.
Both men and women participated by drawing around their hands in bright colours and writing messages in both Khmer and English demanding action to end violence to women and girls.
Similar events were held in 207 countries on 14th February 2013 as part of the One Billion Rising campaign, which was launched on Valentine’s Day 2012 following research revealing that 1 in 3 women worldwide – one billion women and girls – will be beaten or raped during their lifetime. The campaign continues, visit www.onebillionrising.org