Women to dance in 182 countries to protest violence

New Delhi, Jan 10: One billion women, men and children in 182 countries will dance and sing on Feb 14, demanding an end to violence against women. The solidarity will be expressed across the border through a 20,000-strong Garba dance programme in Gujarat led by danseuse Mallika Sarabhai, a performance by Eve Ensler, author of play The Vagina Monologues, a piano concert by Elizabeth Sombart or just simple dance performances.

Ensler, who is behind the concept called "One Billion Rising", said it would be a global strike call against violence. The campaign has been joined by several organisations and individuals from across the globe. Ensler, who said the protest dance will be a cultural expression of spirit, freedom and body, added that the world was witnessing a form of capitalism that encouraged a culture of rape of the earth, the environment, besides of course the women.

Ensler said at a press conference that the recent protests in Delhi against the rape of a 23-year-old student, who eventually succumbed to her injuries after falling prey to barbaric torture by a number of men, were something she had never witnessed anywhere in the world. She said the presence of a huge number of young men in the protest had touched her.

Social activist Aruna Roy said new economic policies were commodifying women to encourage consumerism. She said the modern consumerist culture, when coupled with a regressive tradition, was leading to growing violence against women in India.

It is urgent to stop all practising religious rites and practices that look down upon women at our homes and society, said another member of the campaign.

OneIndia News

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