On 2 September 2017 – One Billion Rising South Asia 2018 was regionally launched in Nepal at the St. Xavier’s School, Jawlakhel. The event was attended by women and human rights groups from Nepal, feminist leaders from South Asia – core group members of Sangat Feminist Network – who all coordinate One Billion Rising across South Asia, along with activists from over ten countries.

The event was hosted by Sangat Feminist Network (OBR South Asia network groups, led by OBR South Asia coordinator Kamla Bhasin), and included the Sangati award, the Meeto Memorial Award, and the 22nd Sangat participant presentations and speeches by human rights activists. The OBR signature dance “Break the Chain” was a highlight of the event – as groups and activists from all around South Asia committed to Rising even bigger and bolder this year to end violence against women and girls, and to build and deepen solidarity.

There was a  vibrant cultural program, including the viewing of several OBR videos, a speech by Kamla Bhasin about One Billion rising, its background, past OBR actions and the main themes for OBR 2018. In addition to rising for women workers in 2018, OBR South Asia are taking up the issue of Property for Her.

A human rights activist and CSO leader, Mr Gauri Pradhan, spoke passionately, on behalf of men and urged men and boys to change and to work against patriarchal mindsets and practices.

The event was also the culmination of strategic planning discussions on OBR activities and actions. The 10 countries present in the Sangat course, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Sri Lanka – all planned their OBR 2018 campaigns, initiatives and actions.

“The dream of and efforts for freedom or AAZAADI continue at the launch of OBR South Asia 2018 in Nepal. Violence against women, the biggest civil war affecting a billion women, must end. Every home has to be made a Peace Zone. Love, not hatred and violence. Let us make OBR a daily practice, let us make it bigger every year, until violence and patriarchy are wiped out.”

– Kamla Bhasin (OBR South Asia Coordinator)