“Girls don’t raise their voices.” “Suppress it along with the opinion you have.” “You can’t protest on the streets for what you feel is not right.” Women, from an early age, imbibe these age-old beliefs and live by the system established by our patriarchal systems hundreds of years ago. But, interestingly, ubiquitous patriarchal practices have taught women to speak up and resist against wrongs. This has indeed led to a remarkable increase in the number of women’s movements in the country.
Misogyny, oppression, and violence against women has encouraged them to not only act but also fight for each other. In the male-dominated society, resistance, without a doubt, is necessary to ensure that everybody is guaranteed basic rights. Women and girls throughout the country are voicing their opinion by expressing rage contrary to what they have been taught since childhood. The movements, some of which are listed below, prove that women together are an invincible force:
The #MeToo Movement
In October 2018, a hashtag took over social media as women all over the country shared their experiences of sexual violence. It takes courage to come out with a history of abuse, in a society where victim-blaming is so prominent. This virtual movement thus provided a platform to all these victims to bring out realities of the assaulters in all fields.
Women aged between 18 and 60 years have been coming together to fight the atrocities of society against which police fail to take action.
The Gulabi Gang
Women aged between 18 and 60 years have been coming together to fight the atrocities of society against which police fail to take action. Data Satbodh Sain found it in 2006 and reportedly had about 2,70,000 members in 2014. Gulabi Gang is a gang of women in pink who beat the abuser in the absence of police action.
A movement started by university female students against strict early curfew timings and sexist hostel rules, PinjraTod gained momentum in late 2015. A Jamia Millia Islamia student wrote an open letter to the Vice-Chancellor of the University and this ultimately grew up to become a city-wide protest against many established institutions. On May 7, 2016, Delhi Commission for Women issued notices to 30 educational institutions acting upon the report submitted by PinjraTod.
All these powerful women’s movements are the source of light in the darkness of prejudices. Don’t dare underestimate her power by hiding her face behind a veil!
Stop Sale Acid
Laxmi Agarwal, an acid attack survivor, started a nation-wide movement in 2006 to have stricter laws for sale of acid. She filed a PIL, started a petition, gathered 27,000 signatures and even went on a hunger strike with many other women to ensure justice for acid attack survivors. In 2013, the Supreme Court finally ruled in favour of her plea, putting restrictions on acid sale.
Lahu Ka Lagaan
After the rolling out of GST rates in April 2017, a social media campaign called #LahuKaLagaan was initiated by SheSays India, an NGO and was carried forward by the female population of the country. Sanitary napkins were placed in the 12 percent tax slab and women protested for tax exemption. In July 2018, the women-led campaign won and it made sanitary napkins tax-free. Moreover, India became one of the very few countries with no tax on sanitary pads.
The Nirbhaya Movement
On December 16, 2012, one of the most horrific rape cases jolted the entire country and started a resistance by women all over the nation. Five men brutally raped her on a bus and threw her on the highway proving how inhumane humans can get. Consequently, her struggle and death ignited anger in every woman. They came out on the streets, participating in candle light marches and silent protests. Furthermore, they actively used digital media for fulmination. Finally, out of the five accused, four were arrested and given death sentences while one who was a juvenile was imprisoned.
Way to go!
Undoubtedly, all these powerful women’s movements are the source of light in the darkness of prejudices. Don’t dare underestimate her power by hiding her face behind a veil! Because when she decides to fight, the world has to bow down. Their eyes have the sparkle of revolution and they walk together, on the path of transformation, to create a better world for all.
Saavriti is an intern with SheThepeople.TV