One billion rising echoes: Justice for Women

One billion rising echoes: Justice for Women

One billion rising echoes: Justice for Women. Women and activists gathered at Lamakaan danced, sang and voiced out their dissent against growing violence against them.

Women and activists gathered at Lamakaan danced, sang and voiced out their dissent against growing violence against them. They tried to create awareness through plays, movie screenings and readings. This was a part of the One Billion Rising campaign which was observed across the globe. The participants of the event urged women to speak out for themselves.

On Valentine's Day, women and men around the world danced, marched, gathered, and used their voices to speak out against injustices that affected women and girls. It was not different in the city.

“It was called One Billion Rising for Justice. It was to yell and to cry against the injustice faced by women in all walks of their lives. This was for those one million women who were hushed up and even killed,” said Vasant Kannabiran, co-founder, Asmita Resource Centre for Women, at the One Billion Rising campaign organised by the NGO at Lamkaan, on Friday.

The concept of One Billion Rising was launched in 2013 to oppose violence against women. It was the brainchild of playwright, actress and activist, Eve Ensler. Every year, on this day women across the world come together demanding an end to violence against them. In the city, Asmita Resource Centre for Women took the initiative to conduct the campaign.

The event at Lamakaan began with an introduction to the campaign followed by screening of a movie ‘Beyond the Veil’ which was directed by Anusha Nandakumar. The movie focused on the lives of two women, Sughra Fatima and her mother Rukshana Begum. The former fought with her family to achieve her dream to become a boxer. While, her mother on the other hand sang popular Hindi songs at bars and weddings to make both ends meet. It was followed by a bilingual reading of ‘Voices from History’ written by noted feminist writer Volga. It was a first person account of the lives, experiences and challenges faced by seven important women in the history, who had made important contributions but have remained under the radar.

Vasant Kannabiran and Volga read about the lives of Kandukuri Rajyalakshmi, Bangalore Nagaratnamma, Durgabai, Kommaraju Acchamamba, Chityala Ailamma, Kommuri Padamavati and anti-arrack crusader Rosamma.

Ailamma’s name was engraved in the history as the woman who started Telangana Peasant Struggle. So is that of Rosamma, an anti-arrack crusader who led the movement in 1992. The readings narrated about how women fought to ensure that arrack carriers did not enter the village.

Many participants in the event felt that irrespective of caste, class, race, religion women have been subjected to violence. “Women have been exploited in all ways and means. The system of patriarchy had further suppressed the voices of the victims. This event was set to raise awareness about these, to end violence against women, to end impunity, to break the silence, to stand up for your rights, to demand justice and to speak out,” said Volga.

The women of Hyderabad have been very responsive to the One Billion Rising campaign. Last year, many witnessed a sea of women participate in the campaign at Necklace Road. Sex workers and LGBT community also took part in the movement. Last year, the sex workers in Kolkata started the movement.

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