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Violence against women decried by students in Manila

February 13, 2015

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Around 4,000 mostly female students from a Roman Catholic school in Manila stomped their feet and raised their hands Friday as they danced to call for an end to violence against women and girls.

The gathering — which included students ranging from kindergarteners to master’s degree candidates, and about a dozen nuns — was part of a global campaign called One Billion Rising.

Filipino actress Monique Wilson, a director of the movement that was started three years ago, said U.N. statistics show one in three women — or 1 billion — will be raped or beaten in her lifetime.

“Violence against women and children has escalated and worsened — domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking, cyber pornography, kidnapping — that there is hardly space for women and children,” the school said in a statement, noting that hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped last year by Islamic militants remain missing.

Sister Mary Francis Dizon, the school’s president, danced wearing a pink “One Billion Rising” shirt over her white nun’s frock. “We rise, revolt and dance to a future when there is no more violence, when social structures and relationships protect and support the vulnerable, and when women and children are safe, secure and empowered,” she said.

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