New Delhi :
On the International Women’s Day, hundreds of women from across the city along with JNU students rallied to Jantar Mantar here demanding “azaadi” from “patriarchy, hierarchy, violence and silence”.
Holding placards with messages like “Shareer hamara, izzat tumhari? (Our body and your honor?)”, “aadhi aabadi nahi poori azaadi (Full freedom, not half population)”, the protestors sang and raised slogans as they marched from Connaught Place to Jantar Mantar.
The rally, ‘8 March, saath march’, saw participation of JNU students, women organisations like Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), Sama, Saheli Women’s Resource Centre.
“It (the rally) is about the whole host of issues right from education to infrastructure, to whether the country should be militarised. All these issues affect us women and we want to have our say about it,” said Vani Subramanian, one of the rally co-organisers and a member of ‘Saheli’.
“We are talking about women as citizens because all citizens are facing restrictions in terms of what we can or cannot do. There is nothing that should compromise our citizenship and we will have these rights. We will be people who assert our rights,” she added.
During the rally, the protestors demanded increasing women’s seat reservation in parliament from 33 per cent to 50 per cent and eliminate societal evils like honor killing, moral policing, acid attack and myriad other issues faced by women in India.
Tribal activist Soni Sori, who was one of the speakers at the rally, lambasted the government and the police for failing to protect tribal women and their rights.
Women and girls from various organisations from across the world also spoke about their individual struggles and how the story of Sori had found resonance with theirs.
Songs were sung, skits were staged as the resounding slogans like “Long live International Women’s Day” reverberated at Jantar Mantar.