HT, 5 Feb 2015
HT, 5 Feb 2015
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 She also said Trump has shown that feminism is not an outdated idea but rather is needed now more than ever.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.
In an attempt to raise awareness about deep-rooted social issues that lead to violence against women, scores of people from over 300 districts in 25 states will take part in a campaign that will kick start in the national Capital on Sunday.
Under the One Billion Rising (OBR) initiative — a campaign aimed at curbing violence against women — people from all walks of life and communities will gather at Connaught Place’s Central Park and express their zero tolerance for violence against women with the help of various cultural and artistic activities.
This year, the focus of OBR will be involvement of women workers, including garment and sex workers. “We will be raising our voice against exploitation of women workers and reiterate our solidarity with them,” said renowned feminist Kamal Bhasin, who is also the South Asia Coordinator of the OBR campaign.
“We face violence on a daily basis, not just from customers but also from the police, who exploit us because of the ‘illegal status’ of our work. Sex workers should be recognised as other women workers because this is what we do for a living,” said Bharati Dey, Advisor, All India Network of Sex Workers.
On February 14, the groups will visit the slums in Delhi and sensitise people on women-related issues. “Our motto is ‘Not love of power, power for love’. We would like to rope in each and every section of society. So, this year, we want to reach out to the people who generally don’t indulge in these activities,” an organiser said. They are also trying to ensure participation of as many male allies as possible.
“Patriarchy is damaging for women, but at the same time, it is also damaging for men. Therefore, men must come out and dismantle patriarchy to save themselves as well as women. It has become imperative to work with men to challenge both patriarchy and masculinity,” said Satish Kumar Singh, Additional Director, Center for Health and Social Justice.
Calling OBR an appropriate platform to raise women issues, girl students in the national Capital expressed enthusiasm for participating in the campaign. “It would be a wonderful experience for all of us to witness such a huge gathering for the cause of women,” Delhi University student Rajni Verma said.
Feminism in America was believed to have become “fossilised” but President Donald Trump’s “political rise” has proved to be a blessing in disguise for women’s movement, not just in the US but many other countries as well, noted activist Kamla Bhasin today said.
“In America, feminists were thought to have become dinosaurs, but thanks to Trump, now it has been revived, as it became evident on January 21 when countless women marched in the streets in an unprecedented display of solidarity for equality and human rights,” she said.
Bhasin, who has been actively engaged with gender and developmental issues for over 35 years, was addressing a press conference at the Indian Women Press Corps here.
Thousands of protesters, in Washington, New York and other cities in the US, flooded the streets a day after Trump’s inauguration as the 45th President, against what they alleged was “divisive policies” of the new administration.
Bhasin also said this year’s ‘One Billion Rising’ campaign would be held on February 5, at the Central Park in Connaught Place, where artists, poets, musicians, and scholars will assemble and “celebrate femininity” and equal rights.
“You push us down in Bengaluru and we will go out, you push us down in Delhi and we will fight back,” said Bhasin, also the South Asia Coordinator of ‘One Billion Rising’.
Held annually, ‘One Billion Rising (OBR)’ is a voluntary campaign organised by a group of feminist leaders to put spotlight on women’s rights through acts of poetry, theatre, dance, music and speeches.
Nastasia Paul-Gera, who is part of the South Asia Secretariat of the campaign, said, “This year the OBR will also see take this campaign forward to bastis and settlements in Delhi-NCR.”
“Bands like ‘Majma’, Vidya Shah and other artists will be performing this year. Various parallel events would be held in colleges,” she said.
(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
4 Feb 2017
‘One Billion Rising’ in Delhi for women’s rights Source : IANS Last Updated: Fri, Feb 03, 2017 22:00 hrs AddThis Sharing Buttons Share to FacebookShare to TwitterShare to WhatsAppShare to LinkedIn New Delhi, Feb 3 (IANS) The ‘One Billion Rising’ campaign that started five years ago as a mass revolution to end rape and sexual violence against women, is back in the national capital.
To give expression to the rise of a billion movers and shakers and leverage the power of global solidarity and collective action, the One Billion Rising (OBR) day will be organised here at Central Park on February 5.
The campaign focuses on the various oppressive structures that affect women and girls — capitalist patriarchy, corporate media, mindless consumerism, cosmetic industries and exorbitant dowries. Therefore, the emphasis is on questioning these and other frameworks that perpetuate the psychological and economic abuse of women.
Many communities and groups will gather on the OBR day and use various cultural and artistic forms to express their zero tolerance for violence against women and their solidarity with millions of women who are struggling to secure the rights they are entitled to as workers. “Over the last five years, the OBR has brought together over half a million young people, rural and urban women, men and a cross-section of communities from as many as 25 states and 300 districts,”
OBR South Asia Coordinator Kamla Bhasin told the media here on Friday. She spoke of how OBR has expanded and deepened friendships and networks locally and globally and enhanced creativity. “This global campaign has strengthened our resolve and courage. During 2017, we will be raising our voices against the exploitation of women workers and reiterating our solidarity with them,” she said.
“The numbers are also growing globally with 200 countries, including the eight South Asian nations, observing OBR Day,” she said, adding: “As attacks on women and girls shake the country, OBR has emerged as a global platform to amplify women’s voices to challenge structural injustices.” Recently, students of Karve Institute of Social Services decided to make common cause with the OBR campaign. This year,
OBR also joined hands with the activist collective “I Will Go Out”, which was a campaign against street harassment. “We are revelling in the joys of the night, occupying the streets and demanding rightful access to public transport; thereby altering people’s perceptions of women as the weaker sex that must be kept caged within four walls,” she explained.
The organisations that are partnering and shaping the OBR event will also take this campaign forward across slums and settlements in Delhi and NCR on February 14. –IANS