500 take part in ‘One Billion Rising’ campaign

Around 500 women in the city took to the streets on Valentine’s Day, joining their counterparts all over the world in the ‘One Billion Rising’ campaign to demand an end to violence against women.

The ‘One Billion Rising’ campaign is built on the premise that half of the seven billion people on the planet are women of which one-third would be raped or beaten in their lifetime - which translates to one billion women.

The campaign was initiated by American playwright, feminist and activist Eve Ensler and her organisation V-Day, said N.Manimekalai, explaining the significance of the campaign.

It is an invitation to ‘strike, dance and rise’ with around 5,000 organisations supporting the cause worldwide. In India, several organisations and celebrities have joined the campaign, she said.

Carrying placards demanding an end to violence in various forms, including objectification of women, Gender Clubs, women’s organisations, self-help groups, research scholars and students took out a march. The march was organised by UGC Centre for Women’s Studies, Cauvery College for Women and Gender Clubs of affiliated colleges of Bharathidasan University.

A. Kaliyamurthy, former superintendent of police, flagged off the march in the presence of M.Jayaraman, president, Cauvery College Governing Council. Also present were K.Rengarajan, secretary, V.Ramanathan, treasurer, and V.Sujatha, principal.

The campaign advocates an end to rape culture and prompts women not to hesitate to reach out for help, said Ms. Manimekalai. By reaching out, one can let other women and girls know they are not alone.

In making women’s issues visible, the campaign hopes to bring about change in laws, attract more funding for establishing violence free cities and environments in colleges, universities and schools, and encourage equal participation of women in public life.

Around 50 male students from various colleges also participated.