Students pledge to create A Violence Free society on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
On International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Oxfam India in collaboration with Dastak organised an innovative cultural event “Sajhi Awaz Sajhi Parwaz” to mobilize young boys and girls to fight violence against women.
“Sajhi Awaz Sajhi Parwaz” was organised as part of Oxfam India’s gender campaign ‘Bano Nayi Soch’. The campaign aims at challenging the existing social practices of violence against women and girls from ‘womb to tomb’.
During the event, around 1500 young boys and girls gathered at Sangeet Natak Academy lawns and took a pledge to create a society that values women and girls as much as it values men and boys and to create a violence free society.
Uttar Pradesh continues to witness a high rate of violence against women and has a high rate of child marriage. According to the 2011 Census, Uttar Pradesh has 2 million married girls in the age group of 10-19 years, while 2.8 million in total (boys & girls) are married in the age group; Girls account for 71 per cent of the total married people in this group.
As per the National Family Health Survey-4, in 2015-16 spousal violence stood at 36.7 per cent.
“Uttar Pradesh has one of the youngest population in the country. Young boys and girls can lead the movement against patriarchal social norms that promote violence and child marriage. It was exciting to see young girls and boys from 40 colleges in and around Lucknow to participate in this event. We hope that these young people will make a commitment to lead a life free of violence and to build mutually respectful relationships,” said Oxfam India CEO Nisha Agrawal.
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.
Encouraging women and girls to fight for their autonomy, Minister for Family Welfare, Women and Child Development (UP) Rita Bahuguna Joshi said, “There is no glass ceiling for women now. They can aspire for the skies.”
Through amazing artistry of dance, music, poetry, art, theatre on gender issues, students were educated about ways to challenge patriarchal attitudes and behaviour that promote violence against women.
“It's high time we stop viewing women as the weaker sex. We are just as capable as men, like hordes of strong women have demonstrated over millennia, despite patriarchy's best efforts to stop us. This mindset should have changed centuries ago, and it is now up to parents of young daughters, and every empowered woman out there, to make sure that it does. Gender stereotypes are no more or less than a bad habit that we, as a society and a country need to give up for our own good," said DJ and survivor of stalking and harassment Varnika Kundu.
Please contact Himanshi Matta, Media Coordinator (08860182310, firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter @himanshimatta) for further information.