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Bangladesh: ‘One Billion Rising’ Campaign Starts

To end violence against women and the girl a new day is going to be celebrated in Bangladesh on 14 February, 2013, with a slogan “Strike, Dance and Rise”. The event will be held on the 15th anniversary of the V-Day movement.

To celebrate this occasion, the One Billion Rising campaign was launched in Dhaka on 13 September, 2012. Eminent feminists and rights activists representing different organizations took part in the launching ceremony at Goethe Institute, Dhaka.

The word “billion” refers to the one billion women who are survivors of abuse; 160 countries, including Bangladesh, have already started numerous activities leading up to the 15th anniversary of V-Day.

One Billion Rising Logos in different languages including Bangla

One Billion Rising Logos in different languages including Bangla

V-DAY is a global activist movement and each step of this campaign is designed to gradually end violence against women and girls. The One Billion Rising campaign started by US feminist playright and acress Eve Ensler and her organization V-day.

The campaign team and the partners are working in Bangladesh towards the same goal. Under this initiative millions of women and men around the world can proclaim: “Enough! The violence ends now”. Eve has made a moving short film on it and here is a trailer.

One in three women on the planet is beaten up or raped during her lifetime. According to this statistic, one billion women would be subjected to violence in their lifetime.

V-day will be observed on 14 February, 2013, to end violence against one billion women and girls. On that day women will not suffer through their daily toil, will not go to the workplace, and they will not sit quietly at home. On that day, they will attend programs to end violence.

The launch of the campaign in Bangladesh featured poetry recitals, reading out stories, gonosangeet (movement songs), and dance. Here are a few pictures of this activities, image courtesy Facebook page of One Billion Rising Bangladesh.

Some of the organizers of OBR Bangladesh at the launch!

Dance performance by Shadhona

Dance performance by Shadhona

Men are also rising.

Shayan, singing about the behavior of the male population towards women.

Violence against women in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is a country of 160 million people and the women to men ratio is 100:106. Women are often the victims of violence and harassment at home and outside.

According to the United Nations Human Development Report, Bangladesh is the country with the worst record of rape in South Asia. Statistically, one in every 1,000 women is raped here. Also, according to a report by the police headquarters, 174,691 women have been subjected to violence between 2001 and 2012 (June), including acid attacks, abductions, rapes, murders after rape, trafficking, murders, dowry-related violence etc.

Only government initiative is not enough to protect women from different types of violence. ZaZafree mentions on Change and be the change [bn] blog:

শুধু সরকারী উদ্যোগে এবং নারীদের নিজেদের মধ্যে সচেতনতা বৃদ্ধিই নারী নির্যাতন রোধে যথেষ্ট নয়। এ জন্য মূলত এগিয়ে আসতে হবে পুরুষকে। নারী নির্যাতন প্রতিরোধের মিছিলে সবার অগ্রে থাকা চাই পুরুষের। নারী নির্যাতিত হচ্ছে পুরুষের মাধ্যমে আর তাই নারী নির্যাতন রোধে পুরুষই পারে সবচেয়ে বড় ভূমিকা রাখতে।

Only government initiatives and raising awareness among women are not enough to prevent the violence against women. For this men need to come forward. Men need to be the front-runners of violence against women protests. The most violence against women are caused by men, so men must play the biggest role to put an end to this problem.

Nazim Farhan Chowdhury tweets:

@nazimfarhan: I am RISING because violence only begets violence! #onebillionrisingbangladesh #Bangladesh

Poroma Kanya tweets:

Launching of @OneBillionRising Bangladesh……on the 13th. Why are you #Rising?

The organizations joining the initiative include Action Aid, Ain o Salish Kendra, Blast, BNPS, Brac, Manusher Jonno Foundation, Care Bangladesh, Kormojibi Nari, Nijera Kori, TEDxDhaka and Oxfam.

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