Three Years and Counting… Striking, Rising, Dancing Against Violence

Chetna Verma

“We lie to ourselves that ‘it is my choice’. Most of the things done by women are to please the society. We are the target of capitalist patriarchy, pornography, trafficking and cosmetic industry. They want us to surrender but we must rise against it.”… On the streets where eve teasers roam free and from where rapists can pick up any woman they want to violate and brutalise in the worst possible ways, in offices where women are vulnerable to sexual harassment, inside homes from where the vicious cycle of gender discrimination begins, and in each and every space where patriarchy rears its ugly head, thousands of girls and women have answered the call of the One Billion Rising (OBR) movement – to break the chains of confinement, dance to the tunes of freedom and speak up loud and clear against gender violence. As far as movements go, OBR, which has completed three years, “celebrates and liberates” women everywhere, encouraging them to “stop seeing themselves as victims” and “take back control of their lives”. Rural and urban, illiterate and learned, able and disabled, women, men and alternate genders, everyone under the inclusive OBR umbrella has found a voice and heart to demand a society that sees women as individuals in their own right and not as puppets who merely fulfil their gendered roles.

“How do we liberate ourselves from the stranglehold of patriarchy? We dance, we sing, we take to the streets.”


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