In Shadow Of Trump Presidency, ‘One Billion Rising’ Initiative Surges Again

The Wire

By

In 40 cities across India, a global campaign that protests violence against women will take place for the fifth year running.

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New Delhi: For ‘One Billion Rising (OBR) – a global campaign on women rising to protest and end violence against women – a Donald Trump presidency is a stark reminder that their mission has never been more crucial.

This year, OBR, in its fifth year of existence, will take place on February 5 in over 40 cities all over India including Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Kolkata. In Delhi alone, 40 organisations are involved in the campaign. With last years turnout being around 15,000 people, this year is expected to be even bigger.

On Friday, Kamla Bhasin, a prominent activist and the South Asia coordinator of the One Billion Rising (OBR) campaign commended Donald Trump for propelling women to protest all over the world. She also said Trump has shown that feminism is not an outdated idea but rather is needed now more than ever. Bhasin also praised the response to the Bangalore molestation on New Year’s eve – the ‘I Will Go Out’ campaign, which happened in over 35 cities and urged women to reclaim public spaces normally occupied by men,

Various events relating to OBR were also held at Shivaji College with 3,000-4000 students attending as well as an event with 300-400 students at the School of Open Learning. An ongoing event is happening currently at Miranda House and another is scheduled for the 7th of February at Aligarh Muslim University.

Shabnam Hashmi, another prominent activist spoke about the launch of the first OBR and its expansion from a one-day event to a campaign which happens over the span of 10 days and the ways in which it has brought multiple groups together. She will be organising an OBR event in Dwarka as well.

The campaign does not focus solely on violence against women, but also on violence which has its roots in the caste system as well as sexual assaults faced by men. Satish Kumar Singh who works on the area of men and gender equality at the Centre for Health and Social Justice talked about hegemonic masculinity and its harmful effect on both men and women, OBR also joined MenEngage to organise workshops on men and gender equality.

On February 14, 2012 One Billion Rising (OBR), a mass global programme, was launched in an effort to call for an end to violence against women. It is based on the statistic that one in three women are either beaten or raped, which amounts to over one billion women. It therefore functions as a call to arms for women to come out and rise up against violence against women.  This year OBR will take place on Sunday to bring people together through dance and other cultural forms in order to facilitate a global movement of women who will rise up and stop violence against women.

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