Manila takes part in One Billion Rising

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Clad in pink, purple, and red, scores of women dance their hearts out at the Rizal Park on Sunday (February 14).

They gathered as part of One Billion Rising, a global movement seeking an end to violence and abuse against women.

It was started in 2012 as part of the V-Day movement.

The "billion" refers to the United Nations statistic that one in three women, or about one billion, will be raped or beaten in her lifetime.

The campaign expands each year. This year, the theme of the campaign is Rise for Revolution.

"Kelangan pa na magpa-lawak sa mga pag-organisa, kelangan pang palawakin ang pagmulat sa mga kababaihan laban sa mga pang-aabuso," said Besing Wenceslao, a supporter of the event.

Women's group Gabriela said incidents of violence against women in the country continue to grow.

Center for Women's Resources data shows reported cases of violence against women increased by more than two hundred percent from 2010 to 2014.

According to a data from Center for Women's Resources, there were 31,937 recorded cases of violence against women in 2014, a figure which was 200% higher than 2010's 10,000. This means one woman suffers domestic violence every sixteen minutes.

While we've had an anti-violence against women law since 2004, Gabriela's Joms Santiago said there are lapses in enforcement.

"Yung sistema ng hustisya natin hanggang ngayon hindi siya sensitive sa mga biktima ng karahasan. Kahit halimbawa meron tayong mga batas kunwari magfa-file ka palang ng kaso, merong specially trained sa pagha-handle sa pulisya for example. Missing yan sa maraming police stations. Sa totoo kahit ang PNP (Philippine National Police) nagre-refer ng kaso sa Gabriela, kasi di nila alam paano i-handle," Santiago said.

But women are not alone in this fight. Young men from various youth groups joined their mothers and sisters in the protest.

"May nanay at kapatid ako na babae, lola ko. Ayokong maranasan nila yung mga nangyayare sa ibang babae na ginagahasa, inaabuso ganon," said JV Daanoy.

Tony award winning author of The Vagina Monologues and founder of the One Billion Rising campaign Eve Ensler praised women and youth groups in the country for having the courage to fight for their rights.

She joined the gathering in Manila for the first time since she launched the campaign on Valentines Day in 2012.

"I think one of the very exciting things happening here is whats happening in the schools. They are rising in so many schools across the Philippines and the world. When young people get it... I see these boys! Boys really understand it," said Ensler.