The global campaign of One Billion Rising (OBR) started in 2012 with a call for a systematic change to end sexual violence against women. The term was based from the statistics released by the United Nations which says that “one in three women will be raped or beaten in their lifetime, hence, about one billion.” OBR campaign organizers usually hold activities on Valentine’s Day. However, the OBR was initially held on September 20, 2012 through a mass global action where 5,000 organizations from 160 countries committed to support the campaign.

It is in 2013 that the OBR was observed on February 14 with a dance as a symbol of collective strength. Since then, more and more groups worldwide participate in OBR activities every February
to promote awareness on the campaign to end violence against women. Activities also expanded from mass action and the OBR dance to panel discussions, gatherings, art sessions, movies, among
others. The purpose of the campaign is indeed very valid because even if women are more empowered today, there remain several cases of horrible abuses committed against them. Take the case of Jullebee Ranara, who suffered unimaginably horrifying death from her young employer in Kuwait.

There are other stories of the same extent of alarming state among the recruits of the CPP-NPA-NDF where young female members, who are even minors, are being raped and impregnated by NPA commanders. They are later forced to abort their baby. Former members of this terrorist
organization have attested to these abuses and lamented such violations that the CPP-NPA-NDF continues to commit. Former members of said organization are therefore now bold in exposing these abuses while those remaining members deny these. The organizations under the CPP-NPA-NDF instead use every dilemma that their allies get entangled into to make allegation of abuses
against women.

This is what they are doing with the cases of Jennifer Awingan and Sarah Dekdeken, who have criminal charges for violating certain laws but whom they claim are being attacked because of
being defenders of women rights. And this is what they screamed during their participation in the annual OBR campaign in Baguio City. Since when letting people with serious violations of the law face the court considered an abuse against women? Organizations under the NDF claim that their members are attacked but they do not even dare to scream for justice for those who were raped by the NPA.

How can they participate in a global campaign that seeks to provide safe spaces for women when they are choosing who to fight for and turn a blind eye on grave sexual abuses against women by the NPA? Let us not forget that the OBR seeks to end sexual violence against women. It covers all women — not only those whom NDF organizations select to be cited as victims of abuses but ALL women including those abuses by the members of CPP-NPA. Move for genuine and sincere fight for protection of women. No to fake women’s rights advocacy.

Cristina Catbagan

Amianan Balita Ngayon