This is the TIME!


It is a different day today in Bangladesh. There is a different air, a different aura, like never before. People from all walks of life, locations, across the country have taken to the street. Women, men, children, every one are walking on the streets demanding an end to a culture. A culture that has been “normal”, “private”, “silent”. A society which treated violence against women as a “normal’ issue has shown their support today as they occupied the streets in Dhaka and across all districts in Bangladesh.

“Silence- NO MORE”, chanted women and men. ‘NO MORE violence against women, they sang in unison as they took the streets today at 1 pm. These were people who stepped out of small shops, factories, construction sites, stations, offices, households, everywhere from across Bangladesh.

Human chains were formed in Lalmonihaat, Faridpur, Magura, Barisal, Khulna, Chittagong Hill Tracts, and all other districts across Bangladesh!

In Dhaka, following human chains, we have moved to Shilpakala academy field now. Here we have organized a festival to play a tribute to women across Bangladesh, across the world. Numerous performances are taking place here. Arnob is on stage now as we write this post, come join us as we celebrate womanhood, as we stand in solidarity to say NO to violence against women. It has been way too long, the time has come!

Next few performances include Shadhona dance, Action Aid shelter home girls’ performance, Shomporker Noya Shetu, Krishnokali, and more! We will be singing Jagoroner Gaan at 6.30 this evening. We will be lighting candles in solidarity with Shahbagh and the entire nation at 7pm.

Come join us now!ImageImage


One Billion Rising Bangladesh joins the WORLD


Uddomey Uttoroney Shotokoti (One Billion Rising), an alliance of rights groups, government and private sector institutions, cultural groups, students and activists, mobilised millions of women and men across the country to rise up, walk out and demand an end to violence against women on Thursday (Feb 14) to mark the global ‘One Billion Rising’ campaign being observed. This was along side 200 other countries who gathered to demand an end to violence against women.

With extraordinary solidarity, women and men, from all walks of life, formed human chains from 1 pm in over 42 locations all over Dhaka city, as well as in all 66 districts of the country. The longest stretch of the human chain was formed from Mirpur to Asad gate moving up to the Parliament building, where Parliamentarians and MPs joined together in solidarity against violence against women. In a historical stance across the country, offices, factories, schools, universities, TV stations, media, agencies, everywhere, people stepped out and stood in solidarity at 1 pm.

With over 384 supporting organizations, millions of workers from different sectors, and people from diverse occupations were mobilized.

To express their stand and demand an end to violence against women, some of the slogans chanted included ‘No more silence’, ‘we demand a rape free society’, ‘we have not forgotten the rapes of 71 and we will not tolerate violence today, ‘May every place be safe for women’.

In red attires, and hoisting red clothes, women and men joined across the country in numbers larger than ever before, for a cause that has been long overdue. The men and women across Bangladesh not only showed their solidarity but also brought home the fact that women’s rights issue is not secondary, personal or isolated. It is a national issue and the time for the society to act has come.

In addition to the nationwide programme, from 3pm, a cultural festival titled ‘Protibaad Kori, Protirodh gori’(OBR Bangladesh) is starting at Shilpakala Academy. The festival will play a tribute to women across Bangladesh and using various forms of artworks, dances, skits, recitations, muImageImagesic, and screenings.

Powerful visuals and art works were displayed to depict the message of breaking the silence, the shackles and challenges faced by Bangladesh women. Each image, each display and portrayal of performances also gave the message that the time is NOW. To stand up, to strike the core of violence and RISE against patriarchy and every force that limits women and their freedom.

The powerful event will followed by a concert, titled ‘No More- Aar Na!’.  Artistes at the concert include Arnob, Pantha kanai, Nemesis, Stone Free, Chirkut, Warda Ashraf, Krishnokoli and many others.

The objective of this widespread protest across Bangladesh is to break the silence and inaction about violence against women. The reason for choosing Valentine’s Day is because there is a need to bring about a change in the commercialised nature of the day and establish it to be about loving and respecting women.

The women’s rights movement in Bangladesh has been moving ahead with numerous recent achievements and this movement aims to further strengthen the actions so that more survivors and their families speak up and that they are not denied justice.

February 14 is not an end, but rather a starting point and a step forward for future discussions and action on violence against women. OBR member organisations will use this platform to consolidate and coordinate their efforts where possible and challenge discriminatory practices and laws through awareness-raising activities, training, outreach, advocacy etc.

জয় হোক উদ্যমে উত্তরণে শতকোটি জয় হোক নারীবাদ-এর


নাহিদ সুলতানা

জাতিসংঘের তথ্য অনুযায়ী সারা পৃথিবীর প্রতি ৩ জন নারীর মধ্যে ১ জন নারী ধর্ষণ বা শারীরিক নির্যাতনের শিকার হয়ে থাকে। যার পরিমাণ পৃথিবীতে বসবাসরত শতকোটি নারীর চাইতেও বেশী। বাংলাদেশে প্রতিদিন প্রায় ৪০জন নারী কোননা কোনভাবে সংহিতার শিকার হচ্ছে । (বাংলাদেশ পুলিশের প্রধান কার্যালয়ের তথ্য অনুযায়ী) ।যার মধ্যে এসিড নিক্ষেপ, অপহরণ, ধর্ষণ, ধর্ষণ পরবর্তী হত্যা, পাচার, খুন, যৌতুকের জন্য নির্যাতন, পারিবারিক নির্যাতন, ইভ-টিজ, কন্যা শিশুর প্রতি অবহেলা, বাল্য বিবাহ, কন্যা ভ্রণ হত্যা, নারীশ্রমিকের মজুরি বৈষম্য, নারী-পুরুষের বৈষম্যমূলক অবস্থানসহ আরো বহুধরণের মানসিক ও পাশবিক নির্যাতন অন্যতম। যেহেতু বাংলাদেশে বেশীরভাগ নারী নির্যাতনের ঘটনা নথিভুক্ত করা হয়না, সেহেতু প্রকৃত সংখ্যাটি জানা এখনো আমাদের পক্ষে সম্ভব নয়।

আমার মনে হয় শুধু আমাদের দেশ কেন ?পৃথিবীর যেকোন দেশে ‘‘নারী নির্যাতন”বিষয়টি অতি পরিচিত। সামাজিক আন্দোলন ও নারী আন্দোলনের সাথে যারা যুক্ত, তারা যুগ যুগ ধরে এই নির্যাতন রোধে কাজ করে আসছেন। কোথায়, কিভাবে, আর কেন, এই নারী নির্যাতন হচ্ছে তা বুঝতে চাওয়া হয়েছে। অনুশাসন-নিয়ম-সংস্কার, পুরুষতান্ত্রিক সমাজ ব্যবস্থা, সতীদাহ-বাল্যবিবাহ, বহুবিবাহ, যৌতুক-পণপ্রথা, শিক্ষার অধিকারহীনতা, নারী স্বাধীনতা রোধ -এইসব হীন উপায়ে নারী দমণ ও পীড়ণ হযে আসছে। দিনে দিনে আজ আমরা যেখানে এসে দাঁড়িয়েছি, সেখানে নারীর কিছুকিছু অধিকার অর্জিত হলেও সবাই তা ভোগ করতে পারছেনা। সাধারণ মানুষ আর সকল অধিকারের মতো তাই নারীর অধিকার বিষয়ে ধীরে ধীরে সচেতন হচ্ছে। তবে তারই পাশাপাশি বিরূদ্ধ-শক্তিও রুখে দাঁড়াচ্ছে বারবার। হরণ করছে নারীর অধিকার। ফতোয়া দিয়ে নৃশংসভাবে নারীহত্যা আজও তাই চলছে।

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