1 Billion Rising is a global movement that highlights a common and daily problem: violence against women. Its message: 1 in 3 women are or will be raped in their lifetime. This number is too big to ignore. In 2013, Thoughtworks joined the first edition of 1 Billion Rising. In 2014 we continued this movement and our Recife, Brazil office participated for the first time. The focus being on the daily small violences women face. (Sometimes not so small!)
Here is a glimpse of the One Billion Rise in Recife!
On the first day, we invited the Coletivo Marcha das Vadias to talk about all the ideas behind it and violence against woman. It was a great discussion and the members of the group shared a lot of information.
Like the Porto Alegre office, one of the activities we had was a "Fishbowl" forum to share anonymous stories about sexism. The idea was to discuss how to ensure a welcoming environment for both women and all underrepresented groups in IT. It was eye opening to understand that as much as we talk about women in technology, the IT industry still has a long way to go. Our fight is just beginning!
We also had a 15 Minute Reflection about Abuse and Global Human Trafficking. We based our discussion around these two short videos. <Warning, these videos are strong and may not be appropriate for all audiences!>
The discussion recognized that human trafficking is complex. There are many causes and it is a global issue.
On our reflections we talked of empowerment of women and what that means in actionable steps. Specifically, we looked at:
Respect and help for women with language and actions.
Teaching the young women and girls in our lives about their self worth and value.
Teaching the young men and boys in our lives the values of respect for women and how they can lead others by example.
To not assume that Government intervention is enough, but do report crimes as individuals.
Not to take part or condone with silence sex trafficking or sex tourism.
Volunteer and perform outreach in women's shelters and re-education programs.
On the last day of our events we met at Recife Antigo to dance and rise for justice! The One Billion Rise - Flashmob was beautiful and emotional! We were happy to be part of this fight. We cannot forget that this is an everyday battle! RISE everyday!
Learn about the lessons learned in putting together a week-long series of events like this.
Disclaimer: The statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Thoughtworks.