RISE UP is an international campaign against Gender-Based Violence. The 2023 campaign is supported by the Mothers' Union, which will join in 16 Days of Activism. More about that later in this article.
Yesterday (14th October) I found myself one of only 2 men in a room full of, I estimate, about 80 women. "Women" perhaps is doing them a disservice. I should probably say Ladies. Every one of them that I know, I wouldn't describe otherwise. The MU is the only organisation I have been a part of to which I don't just belong, as a member, but feel a sense of belonging.
Anyway back to RISE UP, which is not just a name. It is also an acronym:
Respond Inform Support Empower
The symbol of the campaign is an origami dove, in the preferred colours purple and white. I was in that room full of Ladies, the Bristol MU Autumn Gathering, because I had been offered the privilege to demonstrate how to fold a dove. Not because I am an expert at origami, but the Bristol MU president happened to spot a picture I posted on social media of a couple of doves that I folded from the instructions from the MU's UK website.
By the date I was to demonstrate making the dove I had quite a lot ready made, by practicing to ensure that whilst showing the ladies what to do, I could make a dove without referring to instructions.
Whilst the RISE UP campaign, of which the dove is the symbol, is intended to keep awareness of domestic violence in the public eye 365 days a year, it is particularly relevant as we prepare for the 16 Days of Activism campaign during November and December. In 2023 the campaign will start on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. It will run until 10 December, Human Rights Day.
The campaign against gender based violence was started by members of the Women's Global Leadership institute in 1991 and is supported by the United Nations (UN).