According to the newest data of the United Nations, every third woman or girl in the wold will, during her lifetime, be abused, which results to around one billion abused women and girls. The global campaign One Billion Rising! has, for this reason, sent out a public call to stop the silence about abuse, as well as a call to all abused women and girls to stand up and start talking about the tragic experiences. This is a global activist campaign which is organized on Valentine’s Day, on the 14th of February, and is done in the whole world, including Croatia. The campaign has been first held in 2013 in Croatia.

This year’s theme is Rise for Revolution! – Drum! Dance! Protest!

The goal of this project is to prevent violence over women and girls through the action of awareness bringing, gathering donations and support to the existing organizations in fight against violence, including rape, domestic abuse, incest, female genital mutilation and enslavement. The idea is to show commitment and solidarity with the fight against violence, warn people about its devastating consequences and call all women to dance, and by that defeat the status quo, until rape and the culture of violence disappear. One Billion Rising! is an action of solidarity, which demonstrates the complicity of the women’s struggle, which has the purpose to bring attention to the millions of abused, beaten up, forcefully married, circumcised, raped, economically neglected and sold women.

In Zagreb in 2015, this dance campaign is organized by the organizations: Center for Women’s studies (CZŽS), RODA – Roditelji u akciji (Parents in Action), Ženska soba – Centar za seksualna prava (Women’s Room – Center for Sexual Rights), the Community of the Association of persons with invalidity of Croatia (SOIH), CESI – Center for Education, Counseling and Research, The Cycling Union, the initiative “Gdje je ovdje ljubav?” (“Where is the love?”), as well as other organizations of civil society, along with fellow citizens.

The leader of this year’s program is Danijela Trbović, and some of the well-known persons, which will attend this event are the president of Republic of Croatia – Ivo Josipović, Luka Nidžetić, Dado Ćosić, Nenad Korkut, Vili Matula, as well as many others, who will read parts of the European Council’s Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention).

On Saturday, 14th February 2015 with a start at noon, together with women across the world, the citizens of Zagreb will rise and dance on Cvijetni Trg (Flower Square) with the dance center VEM and numerous friends. There will be various kinds of music played, as well as balloons, badges and promotion materials.

Everyone is invited to join the One Billion Rising across the world!

More information can be found on facebook site.

The Council of European Municipalities and Regions in cooperation with Inner City Fund GHK Consulting and Basque County University is pursuing a Pilot project for the development of indicators for measuring the implementation of the European Charter for Equality of women and men in local life. Besides the mentioned organizations, the Croatian Association of Counties has joined the project. The national coordinator for the pursument of the project is Renata Skoko, the Assistant to the Head of Administration and General Affairs in the Varaždin County, in September 2014.

The goals of the project are the development of scientific indicators for the following and measuring of the European Charter’s implementation, promotion of these indicators to the signatories and developing a “tool” which would enable the signatories to use and assess the developing indicators. The project lasts two years, and is implemented from January 2014. Up till January 2015, in the Republic of Croatia, the Charter is signed only by the counties Opatija, Delnice and Solin.

More information about this project can be found on the website: .

On the 6th of February the International day of zero-tolerance for female genital mutilation was marked. Female genital mutilation is a term to describe the ritual removal (in whole or in part) of the outer female genetalia or the intentional infliction of wounds onto the female genetalia. Even though this practice is forbiden, no matter the regligious, cultural or other non-medical reasons, the medical mutilation still exists in practice. According the the World Health Organization (WHO), female genital mutilation of women represents a breach of fundamental human rights and a form of violence and gender based oppression. The real reasons of this practice can be found in patriarchal social norms, where the mutilation is pursued as a means of control over the female sexuality and the protection from loss of virginity before marriage.

It is estimated that 140 milion wives and girls across the world endures the procedure of female genital mutilation, most of which are living in 28 African and Middle-Eastern countries. From the total number of victims, around 500.000 are from Europe. The frightening consequences of female genital mutilation are fatal bleedings, blood poisioning, problems with emptying of the bladder, damage and infections of the urinary tract and kidneys, repeated urinary and vaginal infections, infertility, forming of cysts and complications during childbirth, painful and strong menstruations and various problems during sexual intercourse.

Despite of the present-day conventions and laws, the practice of female genital mutilation is still present and widespread in the world. An open conversation about this topic, as well as raising awareness of how this problem affects women and girls, and the frightening consequences it has, are just a few steps to be taken towards the abolishment of this practice. The marking of the International day of zero-tolerance for female genital mutilation is an important step in the awareness raising and education of the public and lawmakers across the world about this issue.