Over the next 13 days, the city will speak up against gender violence as part of the worldwide ‘16 days of activism against gender violence’ campaign which began on November 25.

Swarna Rajagopalan, founder, Prajnya, which has been organising programmes as part of the campaign for the past five years, said there has been growing awareness, and also willingness, to have a conversation about gender violence and use the right words, like doing away with the term ‘eve-teasing’.

“Collectively, there is an attempt to do better,” she said.

Prajnya began their campaign in the city on Monday with ‘safer spaces,’ an attempt to get retail organisations to pledge zero tolerance towards gender violence on their premises, said Nithila Kanagasabai, co-ordinator of this year’s campaign.

Increase in awareness

Since the gang-rape in Delhi last year, Ms. Swarna said there has been a tangible increase in awareness. “A lot of people who did not think about it earlier are thinking about gender violence now,” she said.

However, she said in a democracy there is never a moment of perfect resolution and they are always looking at deepening awareness.

This year, Ms. Nithila said they were reaching out mostly to specific audiences. For instance, on Tuesday, they trained 31 nurses at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital to handle victims of domestic violence. They will also be holding an awareness programme on domestic violence for beauticians, among other target groups.

Recognising that men too need to be part of the conversation as gender is a broad spectrum, on Saturday, they are organising a bike rally called ‘Metal Men’ which will begin at Marina.

There will also be screening of three films from ‘Lets talk men 2.0’, to discuss masculinity in the subcontinent and its relation with gender violence.

They are also calling for men to record a 60-second clip speaking out against gender violence on a mobile camera. Along with Orinam, an online-offline collective of LGBT people, they will host a discussion on ‘The violence of the norm’.

‘Gender violence in the digital age’

Towards the end, the campaign will focus on ‘gender violence in the digital age’ through a colloquium and a public event later in the evening, on December 9. Those interested can visitwww.prajnya.infor further details about the programmes.

Non-profit organisation, The Hunger Project, is also holding programmes such as mobile van campaigns, rallies, village meetings and painting exhibitions in ten districts in Tamil Nadu, said M.S. Gayathri, programme officer, The Hunger Project, India.

  • On Tuesday, nurses at GH were trained to handle victims of domestic violence

  • A bike rally will be held on Saturday to include men in the awareness programme