Rahat Sharma is a final year Law student who is an ardent believer that every dark cloud has a silver lining. Through her words, she continues to pursue the same and is determined to bring about the change awaited.
Safecity celebrates International Women’s Day
May you live in such a way
that others will say,
“She is a woman
who, though ordinary,
somehow stands out,
and has a beautiful story to tell.”
Although women make all days special for themselves and others around them each day, yet 8th March is recognised as the International Women’s Day. First observed in the 1900’s, this day is celebrated to recognize and appreciate the efforts and achievements of women globally. This year, Safecity’s team of Campus Ambassadors decided to organise an interactive session with the theme ‘Break the Silence. The theme signified the need to stand up against the innumerable stereotypical notions about women prevailing in the society. The event which took place at the Undergraduate Hostel for Girls, University of Delhi was registered as the #7DaysOfGenius under the UN initiative of #7DaysOfWomen. It was attended by 15 young ladies apart with the Volunteers. The event was divided into two sessions, in the first half of which the team conducted talks highlighting three essential issues and the second half comprised of an activity to promote breaking the silence.
The focal point of this session was to initiate a dialogue with women and encourage them to share their experiences and suggestions about all the issues. Under the first session named ‘Talk by Chance’, thoughts on the subjects of the Importance of Intervention, Body Shaming and Self Esteem & Sexual Harassment were shared by the Volunteers. Each topic held a special significance.
Many a times, women fear to intervene while witnessing an unpleasant situation or even reporting such incidents. Through speaking about the Importance of Intervention, the aim was to empower women to speak up and take action against their perpetrators. The importance being that by sharing personal stories, one may not know how they may leave an impact on others thereby making them courageous enough to act in similar situations. The discussion upon this led to many views from those present. An important one being that all this could go in vain until one is aware of themself being harassed. In such a situation, how can they intervene? This is why the first step is to be educated as well as educate others about the safe and unsafe touch.
The next dialogue was on the topic of Body Shaming, a practice of making critical, potentially humiliating comments about a person’s body size, weight or appearance. Many girls in the room agreed to having been body shamed more than once. They all agreed as to how stereotypical society is towards a woman’s body, so much so that they had defined numbers for a perfect figure. With everyone under that roof in agreement, they partly blamed the various advertisements like those of fairness creams and Bollywood movies that promoted the craze over size zero, to further encourage such notions. Nonetheless, what we all needed to start doing to prevent this atrocious practice is to begin cherishing ourselves and loving ourselves the way we are. By doing so nobody would feel less about themselves.
The final subject spoken about was the relationship between Self Esteem & Harassment. A woman fears reporting harassment or abuse due to the victim blaming in the society. Due to the same, she blames herself for whatever happened with her therein leaving her embarrassed and feeling less dignified. Many attending the session said that this was a main reason that prevented them from sharing such issues with their parents as well. Therefore, our aim was to enlighten them on the non-existence of any such relationship.
The second half of the event invited everyone to participate in a fun yet symbolic activity. This activity required everyone to form a circle. As and when a person declared a statement regarding their likes/dislikes, whoever shared the same view was to take one step forward inside the circle. The game which started with general statements led to more serious affirmations in less than no time. The core idea behind this activity was to encourage voicing of opinions. Although it did not begin with too much involvement from the audience, before we knew it, each and every one of the 15 had something to share with us. Afterwards, they all shared how talking made them feel better and much more powerful and how this activity instituted a sense of unity in all of them.
Therefore, this Genius event led to understanding the importance of dialogue in order to break the silence. Post the session, all 15 of them walked out even taller, stronger and with a shared determination to stay united and help spread awareness to break the silence. Thus, the impact created through the event was that to advance equality of women and not let the pre-determined standards govern the society. All in all, it was indeed a very Happy Women’s Day for all of us, just like the Team planned.