Women and girls from Mission nonprofits met at the Women’s Building Friday evening to join in the international movement “One Billion Rising,” and to accept a proclamation honoring local organizations from state senator Mark Leno.
The name “One Billion Rising” is drawn from the statistic that one in three women will be beaten or raped in her lifetime, an estimate that would indicate one billion women worldwide experience gender-based violence. The movement began in February 2012 as an artistic and collaborative response to violence and sexual assault against women. Each year since then, the organization has chosen a new area of focus. 2016’s actions center on the problems facing marginalized women specifically.
“We need change, and we need change fast,” Leno said at the event.
He also took aim at Republican efforts nationwide to cut funding for Planned Parenthood and other health centers on basis of their opposition to abortion.
“They want to defund what is often times the only option that low income women have in this country for their basic health needs,” Leno said. “That is violence against women.”
Mission Girls, the neighborhood youth program for at-risk girls and young women, was specifically honored by a San Francisco One Billion Rising organizer, who called attention to their recently released song and music video “We Are the Women.” The song is a feminist pop and hip-hop composition written and arranged by the young girls in collaboration with Future Youth Records and Hieroglyphics’ A-Plus.
“Everything we see today and everything we see around the world shows that young women are standing up and rising,” said the organizer at the event, speaking with the video’s creators. “You are such role models.”