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A World Free From Violence Against Women
Gender Team & Naureen Khan, Oxfam India
Oxfam India's ‘16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence’ is a global campaign that begins on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (November 25th) and ends on Human Rights Day (December 10th). The ‘16 days’ are a reminder that violence against women is a violation of human rights.
During the 16 days, Oxfam India with civil society organisations, media and people across the world raised their voice for a gender equal world where women and girls are free from violence and abuse. Oxfam India’s 'Bano Nayi Sooch' campaign organised youth festivals, the artistry of dance, music, art, theatre and discussion on gender issues. Hundreds of students, social activists, lawyers, government officials, men and women from the marginalized sector etc were educated about ways to challenge patriarchal attitudes and behaviour that promote violence against women.
On 25th November, Oxfam India in Lucknow witnessed 1,500 students from 40 colleges and seven universities, representatives from almost all major civil society organizations, academicians, media people gathered in the Sangeet Natak Academy lawn buzzing with the talks on Oxfam’s ‘Bano Nayi Soch’ campaign and the unsafe environment of Uttar Pradesh (UP) for women.
Oxfam India in collaboration with Dastak Manch organised an innovative cultural event “Sajhi Awaz Sajhi Parwaz” to mobilize young boys and girls to fight violence against women. Minister for family welfare, women and child development UP, Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Dastak Manch Founder Deepak Kabir, DJ and survivor of stalking and harassment Varnika Kundu addressed the students. This was followed by Urdu poetry on the present scenario of gender relations, songs targeted at gender discriminations and drama centred around negative social norms.
Oxfam India with National Alliance of Women and its partner organization organized a cultural program on 25th November at Ekamra Haat, Bhubaneswar. Oxfam’s “Bano Nayi Soch – Buno Hinsa Mukt Riste” campaign witnessed 550 participants from different Colleges, institutions and communities of nearly 12 districts of Odisha. Ms Lalita Missal, State coordinator, NAWO, Ms Annapurna Moharana, Writer, and leader of Women’s Movement in Odisha, Mr Amar Chhinchori- Television Artist and young star addressed the youth especially boys to come forward to make our nation violence-free and take action at an individual level. Eminent theatre performers, Ms Maya Krishan Rao and Ms Sujata Priyambada highlighted women’s education and freedom through their performance. Dance, drama and songs were also performed to spread awareness about the effects of violence on women and society. Watch Maya’s one-act play- “walks about women’s freedom, mobility and control.”
Oxfam India with its partner SRSP organized an exciting youth festival on 28-29th November to engage our youth in promoting positive social norms. The festival included various interesting competitions where over 1,500 students participated in rangoli competition, poster making, slogan writing, poetry writing and essay competitions centred around gender equality. An audio album of songs on gender issues “Azadia hamka Bhavela” was also released on the occasion. A seminar “youth as the torch bearer for promoting gender equality and positive social norm” was also organized and students expressed their views and ideas on the issue.
University students in Raipur on 30th November joined the global movement of ’16 days of activism’ to end violence against women and girls and took a pledge to create a society that values women and girls as much as it values men and boys. Around 1200 students gathered at Pt. Ravishankar University for the “Jashn Nayi Soch Ka” event.
The festival included a performance by an all-women band combined with gender art exhibition, discussion on gender equality and constant engagement with the youth about the elimination of violence against women in our nation. A five-minute film showcasing the scenario of Gender-based violence in our focus state – Chhattisgarh was also screened during the event and received an overwhelming response.
Oxfam India with its partner organization organized various activities and events under our campaign “Bano Nayi Soch” in different districts of Uttar Pradesh.
In Pratapgarh district, with Tarun Chetna Sansthan, a press conference on 3rd December was organized on the issue of domestic violence.
In Jalaun district, with Prayas Jan Uthan Samiti, a women’s rally was organized in village Narhan in which women leaders participated to create awareness on domestic violence issues in the community.
In Orai, Ambedkar Inter College on 7th December and in Bijoli, Jhansi, Shrada Devi Degree College on 8th December, events were organized under the Bano Nayi Soch campaign. Teachers, principals, students and women from various communities participated and expressed their views on the prevalence of gender discrimination in the society and the need for involving youth in bringing about change. Most of them took pledges to be the agents of change in their communities.
In Kanpur, a street play was conducted to create awareness in people on gender issues, gender discrimination and the need for change on 9th December. The street play “Mamatamayi Naukarani” motivated the audience to be a part of the campaign and promote positive social norms.
On 7th December, in Bihar, a State level consultation with Sajha Manch members was conducted to revitalize the advocacy agenda on the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005. The meeting was attended by Sajha Manch members, violence survivors and school students. The members talked about their experiences in handling cases of domestic violence including the non-cooperative attitude of police personnel, lack of infrastructure in the police stations, no access to helplines in rural areas. A letter to the Chief Minister will be sent soon to increase the budget allocation which would enable hiring of Protection Officers, infrastructure in the support centers and opening of more one stop support centers.
In these 16 days, Oxfam India has been able to spread awareness and motivate people to take a step towards eliminating gender violence. We are able to organize these event and mobilize people because of generous supporters like you. Thank you for making it possible and helping the women of our nation know their rights and stand against violence.
In case you wish to make a monthly contribution so women in our country can live a violence-free life, please click here, https://www.oxfamindia.org/womenrightstele
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