February 14th: The Day of the Dance
Empowering Students to Stand Up Against Violence Against Women & Girls
February 14th, commonly celebrated as Valentine’s Day, has a new meaning this year. This year on February 14th women around the world will celebrate the Day of the Dance as part of a global campaign against violence against women and girls. One Billion Rising began The Day of Dance as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than one billion women and girls.
SEGA students learned about One Billion’s Rising’s “Break the Chain” dance during this year’s East African Girls’ Leadership Summit. The girls were shocked to learn how prevalent violence towards women is across the globe. SEGA students have since learned the “Break the Chain” dance and are feeling empowered to speak out against violence against women. Through performing the dance, the girls are “fighting something they hate with something they love.”
Many of our students are all too familiar with gender-specific violence, so this is a particularly powerful campaign for our students. On a local scale SEGA fights violence against women through our Life Skills classes. SEGA’s Life Skills classes focus on educating girls on their rights as women, providing reproductive education, building confidence and teaching leadership skills. Armed with knowledge and self-assurance our students are better prepared to resist, avoid and speak out against violence aimed at women.
Student testimonies remind us that unfortunately violence against women is frequent in Tanzania and girls are often threatened or bullied into submission. One of our graduates relayed a story that after she left SEGA, a professor from another education institution threatened to fail her if she didn’t sleep with him. Rather than submitting or dropping out of school, the student said, “I looked at him in the eye and told him ‘I have paid to be here and it is my right to be here and you should leave me alone’ …and the way I said it, so confidently, he left me alone after that…. I learned how to do that from my Life Skills classes at SEGA.”
On February 14th, SEGA students will join thousands of women around the world in dancing and spreading awareness about violence against women and girls. We ask that you join our SEGA students and women around the world in this movement. We invite you to learn the “Break the Chain” dance and/or donate to SEGA so we can continue to empower a new generation of women who are passionate about breaking the chain of gender-related violence.
How you can help:
$15 – Provides 1 healthcare exam
$25 – Provides classes in sexual reproductive health for 3 girls for the year
$50 – Provides training in self-value, confidence and assertiveness for 2 girls for a year
$100 – Provides leadership skill and team building to a group of 4 girls for a year
This February 14th, spread the love, dance against violence and break the chain.