Violence against women is a problem worldwide. Yet, the society has been dormant and has chosen to turn a blind eye to women’s issues. The recent incident in Delhi has brought to surface issues we so easily brushed under carpet. It is heartrendingly unfortunate that an event so brutal, so violent was required to wake us up from our slumber. Because we refused to act so far, many cases like the Delhi incident did not register on our collective conscience. Here is a table that should remind us of the unsettling ubiquity of various kinds of violence against women in this country.
At the SATTVIK food festival organised by SRISTI last December, many people expressed their outrage on homage boards erected at the venue. The following pictures highlight some of the comments we received.
On February 14, 2013, as part of the One Billion Rising initiative across the world, the Ahmedabad Rising event was organised by at the Gujarat Vidyapith sports ground.Dr Mallika Sarabhai of Darpana Academy of Performing Arts, who promotes social change through her dance forms, coordinated this event. Many people came to dance; mostly women but also some men and children.
Ahmedabad Rising saw women come out in large numbers to make their voices heard. They danced to express solidarity with their sisters around the world. Domestic violence and sexual abuse survivors narrated their tales of horror and how they decided to fight not only for their rights and safety but also the rights of others like them. School children expressed anger and a hope to inherit a better, safer and a more equal society.
If long-term actions have to be taken, such awareness measures would have to increase. Respect and equality for women should be part of our consciousness. Now that we have finally opened our eyes, let us not rest till we create a better world for our mothers, sisters and daughters.