Lets bring back Dharma to quell this abysmal decline in morals
HYDERABAD: One in three women on the planet is likely to be beaten or raped during their lifetime and with the world population pegged at 7 billion, the numbers of victims add up to more than one billion women, said representatives of the ‘One Billion Rising Collective’, a global campaign to end gender violence.
The brutal gang-rape and subsequent death of Delhi girl Nirbhaya last December has firmly put the spotlight on the rising crime against women in India and has brought together activists to campaign for stronger laws.
“Violence against women is not being considered as a form of violence by society. Negligence of government, people’s apathy, discrimination in families and lack of concern about this issue are major reasons for billions of women suffering from violence,” said Vasanth Kannabiran, the Hyderabad representative of ‘One Billion Rising Collective’.
On Valentine’s Day, the city will see women from all walks of life campaigning at Necklace Road for an end to violence against women.
Not just the city, various other districts and mandals of Andhra Pradesh too, will observe the ‘One Billion Rising’ event. Sujatha Chityala, who works for Dalit Bahujan Mahila Samakhya, said that dalit women are the worst victims of gender violence. “We are organising protest rallies and human chains in 12 districts where dalit population is high, including Kurnool, Medak, Nalgonda and Krishna,” she said.
Women representatives from 26 NGOs across twin cities along with independent activists, women representatives from the government and transgender community activists are organising this event together.
“We see this programme as a bridge with youth,” the teacher and activist Kannabiran added.
The women activists said that the ordinance issued by the government based on the Justice JS Verma panel’s recommendations to strengthen laws on sexual assault was inadequate. “On February 14, we want to see the women of Hyderabad and those who love them, walk out, dance, rise up and demand an end to this violence,” said K Satyavathi of an NGO called Bhumika. She however, added that this event is not an appeal to the government for action, but is aimed at sensitising the public.
Vimala Morthal, poet and activist, said that every 22 seconds one woman is raped and every 72 minutes one girl child is raped across the globe. According to Unicef, every 12 seconds one female foetus is aborted. “Women are being treated as a commodity,” Vimala said.
Activists will urge people to spare time and move out of their offices and houses and gather at Necklace Road for a rally from Jal Vihar to People’s Plaza between 4 pm and 8 pm on Thursday, demanding an end to the injustices. February 14 is also the 15th anniversary of V-Day, a global activist movement inspired by Eve Ensler’s celebrated play ‘Vagina Monologues’, that has educated millions about the reality of violence against women and girls and gave birth to the ‘One Billion Rising’ event.