South Asia, through the Sangat network led by One Billion Rising coordinators Kamla Bhasin (OBR South Asia), Abha Bhaiya (OBR India) and Khushi Kabir (OBR Bangladesh) – recently launched ONE BILLION RISING REVOLUTION South Asia in Kathmandu, Nepal last September 28th.
One Billion Rising South Asia’s Rise for Revolution call:
“The Power of Love, not love of power”
Rising against patriarchy, and Rising FOR democracy, socialism and secularism for women’s equality.
The launch was part of the Celebration of Asian Feminist Solidarity annual gathering which also highlights two significant events. They are the Meeto Memorial Award 2014 – to celebrate the social commitment of youth South Asian activists, honouring Ani Choying, noted singer and founder of the Nun’s Welfare Foundation. The celebration also featured the Sunila Abeysekera Memorial Lecture, which this year was delivered by noted feminist , LGBT, human rights activist and author Professor Charlotte Bunch, who traveled from the US.
The event celebrated solidarity with the participants of Sangat’s 19th Asian Feminist Capacity Building Course. Thirty seven women from eight South Asian countries, as well as Turkey and Iran, attended a month long course on gender, sustainable livelihoods, human rights and peace at TEWA, Dhapakhel, Kathmandu from September to October 2014. Cross border solidarity was celebrated by all the participants and noted feminist activists from South Asia, like Kamla Bhasin, Indira Shrestha, Binda Pande, Abha Bhaiya, Khushi Kabir, Kumudini Samuel, Roshmi Goswami, Rubina Saigol, Ambreen Ahmad, Sapana Pradhan Malla, Rita Thapa, Mona Sherpa, joined by a packed theatre of over 700 hundred members and leaders of Nepal Civil Society, eminent citizens and cultural activists – where noted activists from multi sectoral parties and groups gave speeches – pledging to end violence against women and girls.
The celebration ended with the launch of ONE BILLION RISING REVOLUTION with special guest Monique Wilson (One Billion Rising Global Director) who flew in from the Philippines. Monique gave a speech, performed Eve Ensler’s new piece – “My Revolution Lives In This Body” to an enthusiastic audience, and sang the song “I Am Rising” (music by Andrei Ionescu from Romania, with lyrics by Joi Barrios from the Philippines). The event culminated with many cultural performances, ending with the One Billion Rising theme song and dance “Break the Chain”.
The four hour long event highlighted the inspiration, creativity and transformative energy of Asian One Billion Rising solidarity.
Message from Monique:
Wanted to share with you about the amazing One Billion Rising Revolution South Asia launch that took place in Kathmandu Nepal last September 28th. Organized by Sangat South Asian network of our dearest Kamla, Abha and Khushi- the event was incredible. With over 55 Nepalese groups in attendance from various sectors and parties, incredible activists and community members, the event was full of energy and hope, inspiration and solidarity. There were moving speeches and tributes. The OBR Revolution launch came after the Meeto Memorial Awarding, given to an amazing young nun Anj Choying, honoring her work, and the Sunila Abeysekera Memorial Lecture, – one of South Asia’s most inspiring feminist leaders, given by Charlotte Bunch. The event was also to celebrate solidarity with the 38 amazing women from 10 countries who are participants of Sangat’s annual Asian Feminist Capacity Building course. It was truly an afternoon of celebration, solidarity and memorial- and a revolution call to the power of love to ending patriarchy. There was so much dancing and energy, solidarity and love.
Thank you Abha, Kamla and Khushi, for inviting me to be part of the launch, and for a wonderful 5 days in Nepal where I had the privilege of getting to know and meet the amazing Sangat core group who brought OBR all throughout South Asia, and of getting to know more deeply the astounding work they all do in the region. and of meeting the incredible OBR Nepal team as well as the 38 truly inspiring young women participants of Sangat’s extraordinary course. It was also amazing to meet some of the incredible women’s groups of Nepal. Thank you for inviting me to speak, to sing, and to perform Eve’s amazing Revolution piece. It was truly an honor to be part of your launch and to share in the incredible energy there. I take so many wonderful, moving and inspiring memories back with me, of solidarity and community and sisterhood. Kamla, thank you for inviting me to perform excerpts from “The Vagina Monologues” one evening for the participants. That was indeed a special unforgettable evening too!
Congratulations on the launch of OBR Revolution South Asia, and all my love and thanks to you my sisters Kamla, Abha and Khushi!
For more photos please visit the OBR South Asia Facebook album
Read more about the event online at myRepublica