‘One Billion Rising’ in Delhi for women’s rights

New Delhi: The ‘One Billion Rising’ campaign that started five years ago as a mass revolution to end rape and sexual violence against women, is back in the national capital.

To give expression to the rise of a billion movers and shakers and leverage the power of global solidarity and collective action, the One Billion Rising (OBR) day will be organised here at Central Park on February 5.

The campaign focuses on the various oppressive structures that affect women and girls — capitalist patriarchy, corporate media, mindless consumerism, cosmetic industries and exorbitant dowries.

Therefore, the emphasis is on questioning these and other frameworks that perpetuate the psychological and economic abuse of women.

Many communities and groups will gather on the OBR day and use various cultural and artistic forms to express their zero tolerance for violence against women and their solidarity with millions of women who are struggling to secure the rights they are entitled to as workers.

“Over the last five years, the OBR has brought together over half a million young people, rural and urban women, men and a cross-section of communities from as many as 25 states and 300 districts,” OBR South Asia Coordinator Kamla Bhasin told the media here on Friday.

She spoke of how OBR has expanded and deepened friendships and networks locally and globally and enhanced creativity.

“This global campaign has strengthened our resolve and courage. During 2017, we will be raising our voices against the exploitation of women workers and reiterating our solidarity with them,” she said.

“The numbers are also growing globally with 200 countries, including the eight South Asian nations, observing OBR Day,” she said, adding: “As attacks on women and girls shake the country, OBR has emerged as a global platform to amplify women’s voices to challenge structural injustices.”

Recently, students of Karve Institute of Social Services decided to make common cause with the OBR campaign.

This year, OBR also joined hands with the activist collective “I Will Go Out”, which was a campaign against street harassment.

“We are revelling in the joys of the night, occupying the streets and demanding rightful access to public transport; thereby altering people’s perceptions of women as the weaker sex that must be kept caged within four walls,” she explained.

The organisations that are partnering and shaping the OBR event will also take this campaign forward across slums and settlements in Delhi and NCR on February 14.