Artists UNiTE for One Billion Rising

Date: Thursday, February 14, 2013

Bridgetown, Barbados.
UNiTE Caribbean Artists Terencia “TC” Coward and Michael “Mikey” Mercer were among hundreds of Barbadians participating in the One Billion Rising (OBR) Barbados event calling for an end to violence and sexual violation of women and girls.

The event was one of hundreds taking place around the world as part of a global movement to end violence against women. It included fact sharing on the scourge of violence against women by representatives of leading NGOs - including the SAVE Foundation and the National Organisation of Women the YWCA, the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Barbados - and UN Women. Performers included spoken word artiste, Adrian Greene; and singers, Rhesa Garnes, Marisa Lindsay, and Mandy Cummins.  

A major feature of OBR Barbados was the group dance to the One Billion Rising anthem – “Break the Chain” led by dancers from the Louise Woodvine Dance Academy, Genesis, Dance Strides Barbados and the Barbados Dance Theatre.

According to a study conducted by the World Bank in 2007, violence against women seems to be endemic in Caribbean countries.  This study also reported that while the worldwide average for rapes was 15 per 100,000, Caribbean countries exceeded this average. 

One Billion Rising began as a call to action based on the statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than one billion women and girls. 

The OBR Barbados Planning Committee said these statistics for both the region and the world were unacceptable. “Women have made tremendous gains over past decades and centuries. However, these achievements are overshadowed by the statistics of violence against women. It is for this reason we are joining the global One Billion Rising movement and advocating for change,” said Pia James, OBR Barbados Planning Committee member.