Celebrating the importance of being a woman

Celebrating the importance of being a woman

Hundreds of men, women, activists and students gathered at Central Park on the occasion of International Women’s Day over the weekend. They demonstrated and marched around the Central Park chanting slogans to mark collective actions towards creating a world free of violence, injustice and oppression. They gathered to inspire each other by celebrating the gains of women’s movements. This was followed by dance, slogans, nukkad-natak and speeches by activists at
Jantar Mantar.

Women participating in the celebration asserted their commitment to the creation of a world that respects women as equal citizens of this country.

“This day gives us a platform to raise our voices, to listen and to interact. To me, this day symbolises that the revolution is still on and will keep increasing till the time everyone understands the true meaning of equality,”Samiksha, a participant told Metrolife.

This past year, as in the years before, there have been a shocking number of incidents of violence against women across the country, including incidents of ‘dishonour’ killings and acid attacks, the horrific attacks on the young girls from Badaun to Bhagana.

Delhi itself has seen increasing levels of ethnic violence, harassment and homophobia. Women from the Northeast, gender-queer persons, Muslim and Dalit women, women with disabilities, migrant and refugee women, and sex workers have all faced varying degrees of intolerance, abuse and violence on a daily basis.

Ishani Banerjee, student from Miranda House which participated in a play on the occasion said, “I want to celebrate Women’s Day because I want to not feel guilty about being fearless”
Even though there have been several attempts to silence dissenting voices, the courageous acts of resistance from women from across the country continue to inspire our struggles. Adivasi women in Rewali (Rajasthan) and Chhattisgarh were protesting the merciless killing of a fellow adivasi who did not bow down in the face of police brutality. Struggling Dalit and tribal women unjustly jailed in Sonbhadra, Uttar Pradesh, who were released with honour and the District Magistrate suspended for not protecting them and
their children from attacks, were also present at
the event.

The Women’s Day celebrations at Central Park envisaged a world of equality and diversity, free from economic exploitation and social discrimination.

“Women’s liberation doesn't depend on any particular day. We liberate ourselves each moment, each day in different ways, different places. Women's Day just provides us with a sense of solidarity that we’re not alone. There are others who are fighting for our cause, we are fighting for their cause, there are no us or them, we all are one big collective,” said Dyuti, another
student at the gathering at Jantar Mantar.

The events were jointly organised by: Women Against Sexual Violence & State Repression, Women for Water Democracy, YWCA Delhi, TARSHI, Swastik Mahila Samiti, Sex Workers Allies South Asia and many more.

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