On Saturday 8th March 2014, more than 10,000 crusaders will fill the bustling shopping streets of central London to remind every man, woman and child that ending violence against women is a collective goal.
Marching from Selfridges, the home of the big spenders and finishing at popular tourist attraction Trafalgar Square, Million Women Rise (MWR) is an effective International Woman’s Month event that really grabs the attention of residents and visitors.
I learned about MWR through my childhood friend Simret Cheema Innis who marches every year. I was informed of the voluntary efforts of MWR organisers when working with Nina Kelly at the Guardian Newspaper. And, I am so pleased that our in-house Photographer Frederique Rapier is supporting the cause by spreading the word and capturing these heroic women in action.
MWR is also supported by women’s organisations around the UK such as the SouthHall Black Sisters, the Women’s Resource Centre, Women and Girls Network, Imkaan and Rape Crisis England and Wales. It’s amazing to witness diverse groups of passionate women, drummers, whistlers, banner and placard holders come together to ensure that the silence and acceptance of all forms of violence against women is broken.
Sabrina Qureshi, founder of Million Women Rise, said:
“Worldwide, one in three women will experience some form of violence in her lifetime. If violence against women were a disease, governments everywhere would be declaring a state of emergency. To do nothing is to accept this violation of our human rights and to say that those lives are valueless or less important than others.”
In our Gender Issue, Nina Kelly expressed her thoughts and concerns in an article titled, ‘Why Violence Against Women is Everyone’s Business’. Did you know, that in the UK…
- One woman in four will experience domestic violence at some point in her life
- One woman in four will experience sexual assault as an adult.
- Two women are murdered every week by their partner or ex-partner
- 250 cases of forced marriage are reported each year.
- Up to 1,420 women per year are trafficked into the UK for sexual exploitation
- More than 20,000 girls could be at risk of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the UK.
To voice the thoughts and concerns you feel strongly about the meeting point for the MWR march is at 12:00 noon on Duke Street, W1. The marchers set off at 1pm and the rally starts in Trafalgar Square at 3pm.