This 16th Dec, WALK THE STREETS WITH PINJRA TOD
11.30am: New Delhi Metro Station (Ajmeri Gate)
2pm: Connaught Place (Gate No.7)
4.30pm: India Gate
Contact: 8527470984, 9582668455
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/224189114694459/
What happens when a woman is raped? How do the state and other authorities respond? Is the ‘justice delivered’ by simply punishing the perpetrator or is the cause of rape located in a deeper analysis of society? After all is said and done, is it still considered a woman’s mistake? Even further discriminations are at play in the rape of a dalit or adivasi or muslim woman.
These disturbing questions have always been alive in women’s ongoing struggle, but they resurfaced prominently after the brutal gang rape of a 23 year old woman on 16th Dec’12 in Delhi.
We observe in our society that as a consequence of rape, it is the woman who is shamed and blamed for her harassment. As a ‘cautionary lesson’ for the future, women’s bodies become the site of increased surveillance and control. The family, the police, the government and the university respond by imprisoning women with strict deadlines, ‘disciplining’ them with norms of proper dressing and moral behaviour — in the name of security measures that do not attack the root cause of rape or create an egalitarian space in the society for both men and women.
The phenomenon of rape is a problem of patriarchal society, which produces a violent masculine culture that subjugates and oppresses women. Sexual harassment and exploitation of women not only take place in the streets but also within homes, within marriages as domestic and dowry-related violence and marital rape. In university spaces, women’s voices are systematically silenced, and their freedom to think, engage, or love who they want is repressed. Let us take this day and every day to reclaim the public spaces and to fight the patriarchal control of women’s freedom and sexuality through moral policing under the garb of protection and security.
Today, we also take to the streets in anger, to resist and speak up against the daily structural violence that continues to take place against women, with dalit and adivasi women being more vulnerable to caste, class as well as state violence.
In the so-called ‘insurgency affected’ areas such as Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, the North-East and Kashmir, women are struggling to resist not only caste and class violence, but also extreme sexual violence and humiliation by state players (army and police) in the name of curbing insurgency. Aggressive masculinity masquerades as patriotism and lynches, rapes and kills minorities in order to protect the honour of the ‘motherland’.
To march on 16th December is to stand in solidarity with the struggles of women in all parts of the country.
We assert that the justice we fight for and the freedom we desire is that of equality and nothing less. Freedom not only from something but freedom to be something—equal. And this equality does not mean asserting a unified single experience of women, but asserting our freedom to be different and at the same time to reject any hierarchy on the basis of differences. We stand by the differences in women’s experiences owing to class, caste, and yet, we urban or Dalit or tribal women stand together through our commitment to equality.
We women raise our voices not only against oppression by uttering a “NO” — but also in affirmation, a “YES” to the lives and struggles of women which celebrate differences and multiplicities. Today, like every day, we claim the streets, we assert our right to safe and equal access to public spaces and transport, affirm our dreams and desires, and the freedom to study, work, marry or not marry, to have or not have children, to work or not work, to experience love and pleasure and make trouble with the man/woman binaries of patriarchal society.