The Delhi gangrape and many more rapes that were never reported hitherto but are at least getting some attention now have been able to evoke noticeable public response regarding violence against women. Finally, more and more people have started understanding that millions of women all over the globe who hide their tears silently have the right to be treated equally, gently and with respect. The Women’s Day celebrated at this point carries more meaning than ever before.
‘Promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women,’ the theme given by the United Nations Organisation for the Women’s Day -2013, just reflects the sentiment prevailing at the city, state and the nation. This year, Women’s Day promises a variety of programmes and events that celebrate womanhood in various ways. Citizen Matters came across some of them, which are listed here for your benefit.
Saluting Women Composers
As part of a new gender initiative (a series of events focussing on gender in general and gender violence in particular), the Bangalore International Centre will observe International Women’s Day 2013 by hosting an evening to highlight and celebrate Indian women’s contributions to music through the ages. Conceptualised by Dr Sakuntala Narasimhan, the programme, ‘Women composers of India – Celebrating the unsung-songs,’ will have Archana Udupa and other singers rendering the compositions.
This programme, based on historical research, will trace the contribution of women to the Sanskrit hymns of the Rig Veda and the feminist-cultural evolution through two thousand years, covering songs in Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Telugu, Kannada, Tamil and Kashmiri, ending with a 21st century composition in a genre called tillana, which was considered, till recently, to be "inappropriate" for women performers.
Ring the Bell..
A ‘tweetup‘ has been organised between 6pm to 9pm at Costa Coffee Church Street, with participants talking and tweeting about ending violence against women and being more responsible as men.
This is part of a larger year-long campaign ‘Ring the Bell’ launched by human rights organization Breakthrough, exhorting a million men to make a million promises towards bringing all violence against women to a halt.
Not a Victim Anymore…
The Alternative Law Forum at the Infantry Road will organise a talk with Bhanwari Devi, who will share her experiences on March 9. The talk will focus specifically on her battle for justice in the courts after she was gang-raped in 1992. The issue attracted national and international attention and resulted in the historic Vishakha judgment, in which the Supreme Court used international principles to formulate guidelines to address sexual harassment at the workplace.
"Our Nation will have achieved true independence and freedom when a woman can walk in the midnight," said Gandhiji. A group of civilians has planned a ‘Midnight Freedom March’ from Brigade Road to M G Road, to "celebrate a day to challenge the very system which covers up its inability to provide equal opportunities to its women by asking them not to step out of the house in the nights." The march would be from 10pm to 11.30pm.
For Clean Politics
Loksatta Party is organizing an all-women march from N R Colony bus stop to B M S Women’s College in Basavanagudi at 5pm, to celebrate women in politics, as part of an all-women campaign for clean politics, and to support Shantala Damle’s MLA candidature.
Admire the Creations
Communication students from Mount Carmel College have planned a programme to screen films and exhibit photographs by the batches of 2010 to 2013. The creations of the all-women crew on display are aimed to convey the message that gender does not matter in creativity.
Women in Media
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, too, will be celebrating International Womens Day on March 8, Friday at 11am. Senior writer and critic Dr B N Sumitra Bai will give a lecture on ‘Media and Women.’ There will also be an interaction with the media students.
Concert with a Mission
Enjoy the evening of the great day with renowned American jazz singer Norah Jones, who will perform at the Manpho convention center grounds in the city at 7pm. The performance is part of ‘A Summer’s Day’ – a festival conceptualised by a team of women, "with the idea of curating an event that women would like to go to, placing emphasis on a ‘cheery and easy’ atmosphere marking the arrival of the summer." A part of the funds collected would go to the research and treatment of breast cancer among women. You can watch the performance live on VH4 too.⊕