Women protest on Brigade Road, demand safe public spaces

Men, transgenders too participate in demonstration against Dec 31 molestation

Women protest on Brigade Road, demand safe public spaces
Several women’s rights and social organisations led by NGO Vimochana held a demonstration at the Brigade Road junction on Tuesday evening as a symbolic protest against molestation of women on the night of December 31.

Around 200 men and women gathered on either side of MG Road near Cauvery Emporium, holding placards condemning violence against women. Organisations such as Mahila Munnade, Women’s Voice, Swaraj and garment workers’ union took part in the demonstration. Members of the transgender community and other sexual minorities also participated.

The objective of the protest is to make public spaces safe for women, said Dr Corinne Kumar of Vimochana. “What happened on New Year’s Eve is not right. We need to move away from this mindset and acknowledge that women are individuals with rights,” she said. She encouraged the men participating in the protest to speak out.

Manohar Elavarthi, a member of Swaraj Abhiyan, said, “Society turns men into monsters by making them believe that they are superior and women are meant to be passive, voiceless. We need to fight this and the idea that being masculine means being aggressive.”

When men are the problem, they have to be part of the solution, he said urging more men to support the cause. “I want to ask the home minister to make all men return home by 6 pm. Imposing restrictions on women to ensure they are safe is not the solution,” said Nandini Manasvini, a participant.

The organisers intend to hold such demonstrations more often on MG Road and in other parts of the city.

A woman police officer, new to the force, who was manning the crowd, said, “I feel proud to see all these people out here demanding safety of women. I would like to do whatever is possible from my side to ensure that women are safe.”

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