It has been another exciting month of Risings! We are so inspired, impressed, and emboldened by the actions and events of our partners. We hope that you enjoy going through the December newsletter!
The Joint Women’s Programme has had a series of Risings in December. These Risings have been raising the issue of girls’ education, violence against women, child sexual abuse within and outside the family, child labor in cracker factories, and others through community meetings, children’s rallies, e-rickshaw rallies with women, public park meetings and singing songs and shouting slogans from Kamla Bhasin’s books. Apart from these, they have also been opening bank accounts for women who are denied the facility by their families including teaching them to operate ATMs as part of the One Billion Rising campaign to support women’s economic independence.
On 6th December, Insan Foundation Trust involved student groups of Gender StudiesDepartment, Student Councils of four provinces of Pakistan and the Society of Gender Studies of Quaid e Azam University, Islamabad in Rising against violence against women. A group of students trained by Insan Foundation Trust actively participated in organizing the event. The event involved dance, music, dialogue and a signature campaign to show solidarity against violence against women. Around 3,000 students, both men and women, were present. There were some members of workers’ unions who were also present.
Please find a video of a Rising HERE
Shramik Bharati – an organisation which has been working in Kanpur and the neighbouring rural areas with women on a variety of issues including women’s empowerment, women’s rights, sustainable agriculture, water and sanitation, and employment generation – Rose against violence against women on their 30th anniversary, which also fell on Human Rights Day. Around 15,000 women were present for the event. Each of these women was a karya karta of help groups/sahayta samuh created by Shramik Bharti. The women sang songs written by Kamla Bhasin as part of the cultural progamme. Kamla Bhasin also spoke with these women about violence against women and human rights. Most of the women present had travelled at their own cost to the function as they have benefitted deeply from Shramik Bharti’s work. What an experience and what a programme!
On 27th December, Srijanatmak Manushi Sanstha and Mittika Rose for One Billion Rising in the community of JJ Colony. The community members who have been engaged in this issue by these organisations for some time engaged other community members on issues of violence against women, victim blaming and other gender related discrimination through forum theatre, music, dance and dialogue.
As part of the One Billion Rising campaign, the Aga Khan Rural Support Program in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan, organised seminars to create mass awareness about mental health and gender equality among communities. More than 1,200 men and women attended the seminars. Health professionals delivered presentations on mental health, gender based violence, child protection, and on how patriarchy affects men, women, boys and girls and leads to violence.
On 28th December, Kamla Bhasin was invited by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Jaipur to interact with about 60 interns, women and men, all students of law from six universities. They come for a month to learn about and work on human rights issues with senior feminist and rights activists. They spent three hours together talking about men and masculinity and how men and boys are being dehumanised by patriarchy. This event included a lot of songs and sloganeering.
On 30th December, One Billion Rising Rose in support of the Women’s Reservation Bill (#ab33nahi50). The OBR campaign firmly believes in the importance of women holding decision making positions in the legislature. OBR joined the #ab33nahi50 campaign at the Ambience Mall, Gurgaon to create awareness about this through a street play and various speeches.
Azad Foundation has organized 8 events as a part of OBR. This year, they have focused on theviolence women face in public transport and the safety of women in public places. They organized 3 events by occupying bus stops from Aadarsh Nagar (North Delhi), Nehru Place Terminal (South Delhi) and Jagatpuri (East Delhi) areas. They addressed issues related to women’s safety in public transport such as buses, autos and metro trains and distributed pamphlets at bus stops and in the bus during bus journeys. This pamphlet distribution helped initiate dialogues with the passengers around these issues.
They also distributed customized cards resembling bus tickets with slogans appealing to people to create a better environment for female travelers. Sloganeering in the rallies and songs sung by their trainees, leaders from ‘Feminist Leadership Program’ and young men from ‘Men for Gender Justice’ program and collaborations with organizations like
Rahi, Feminist Approach to Technology (FAT) and support from Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) was part of this synergy. Pink scarves, aprons, banners and cards resembling bus ticket cards added meaning to these awareness events with their effective and catchy lines.
We are also very excited for the OBR Day celebrations in Delhi, which will be held on 5th February at Central Park, Connaught Place, New Delhi. More than 50 organisations in the city are coming together for a day of music, dance, theatre and conversation. We hope to see all of you in Delhi there!
Finally, a reminder that we have a video of slogans that you can use in your events and activities. These slogans have been written by Kamla Bhasin, and shouted by the Sangat and Jagori teams. The video can be found here. Please contact us at [email protected] for the lyrics of these slogans.
We hope that these events and actions inspire you, as they have inspired us! We are looking forward to hearing from all of you in the coming months about your Risings!
Kamla, Logna and Nastasia