'One Billion Rising' debate - fighting violence against women

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Labour MSP Kezia Dugdale praised the One Billion Rising campaign, which was established in response to UN reports that one in three women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime, during her member's debate on 17 April 2013.

The campaign, which was set up by Eve Ensler, is attempting to end violence against women and used "dance strikes", in Lothian, across Scotland and across the world on 14 February 2013 to highlight the issue.

Ms Dugdale said the campaign aimed to turn "one billion victims into one billion activists for change".

The Labour MSP said empowering women was key to successfully changing the culture and the only way to tackle gender violence was to "tackle gender inequality in all forms".

The Lothian MSP also praised Everyday Sexism Project to catalogue instances of sexism experienced by women on a day to day basis, as well as the No More Page 3 campaign and the Hollaback Edinburgh campaign against street harassment.

Sport and Commonwealth Games Minister Shona Robison commended and welcomed the One Billion Rising campaign and explained that she had additional responsibility for equality in her ministerial portfolio.

In reference to the UN report stating one in three women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime, the minister said "the truth is shocking".

Ms Robison said: "Violence against women destroys lives, limits freedom and potential and has no place in 21st century Scotland", before highlighting recent rapes which showed "there was still a lot of work to do".

She said the Scottish government was fully committed to tackling all aspects of violence against women and was developing Scotland's first prevention of violence against women strategy.

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