One Billion Rising : Rising Gardens

 

One Billion Rising is a global call to action to end violence against women. All women – cisgender, transgender, those holding fluid identities who are subject to gender-based violence.

Women raising their voices for women. Every year since its inception in 2012, in the month of February, women rise to shine a light on the rampant impunity and injustice – through the creative arts of dance, poetry, song - to spread the message and create a new consciousness, one where violence is non-existent.

The theme for this year is Rising Gardens.

Gardens remind us of our enduring connection to life, to each other and to the earth. It is a gentle reminder of the wonders of Mother Earth, compelling us to nurture life and protect our land from the effects of destruction and exploitation. Cultivating a garden is a means of survival, growing our own gardens allows us to feed ourselves and our community. To care for a garden requires patience, creativity, love and care. Maintaining a garden is an act of resistance – to the capitalist land owners – it connects people to the land and Mother Earth, thus building resilience.

As the Covid-19 pandemic rages on ripping away at the economy, its effects are greatly felt within the migrant communities. Many have lost their main source of income, being daily wage earners, when businesses, construction sites and plantations were closed or downsized. Children’s education disrupted.

Poverty is now a global problem. With it comes the increased risk of domestic violence, sexual and physical exploitation of women and children, child labour as children are pushed out to find what work they can to supplement the household income.

"Rising Gardens are a defiant creative call for revival, restoration and transformation. They are, in many ways, a compassionate call for justice – because one of the greatest injustices of our time has been the destruction and eradication of Mother Earth, parallel to the ongoing and escalating gender-based violence. We cannot keep the ongoing extraction of women’s labour and earth’s produce, with no gratitude to both. We must honor and protect the Earth and women in order for any future life to exist" - onebillionrising.org

To this end, Global Shepherds has been working with the migrant communities through the alternative learning centres – by growing gardens - instilling in them the hope for compassion and justice, helping to cultivate their vegetable gardens, invoking a sense of nurturing whilst building up their resilience and self-empowerment.

We call on everyone to RISE in honour & celebration of women workers, especially those in the frontlines, those who are sole income earners, and especially those who have been subject to gender-based violence, abuse and exploitation.