On a sunny-cool afternoon, joining more than a 100 “orange” rallyists to protest violence on women sounds a bit violent.
However, it really can’t get more peaceful when you are standing in silence. At the Gandhi Square. With placards that shout out a word that may strike many men as some breaking news: NO!
No to violence, No to tyranny and No to No.
Does it spring a surprise to the guys who think it is witty and macho to attack women?
Yes. Surprisingly. It does. Saying ‘No’ is a rule that men only recently discovered women can say. Even if it takes a rally to say it, to pitch it and to rub it in.
Hence, it’s almost like a ‘Me Too’ march by more than a 100 members of the NGO, Soroptimist International (www.sorotimistinternational.org). Organised by the Bangalore chapter (www.sibangalore.com), the protestors are highlighting the UN Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women in the city’s warm afternoon breeze on November 25th.
It’s a rally that begins in the Gandhi Square. (That, at least, reminds us of a particular guy who spoke a lot about non-violence, in case you haven’t heard.) It then moves on to St Mark’s Road. Students take the baton from the women there to walk by Cash Pharmacy and end at St. Joseph’s college campus.
The SIB women are part of a nationwide sisterhood of professionals, including lawyers, doctors, journalists, counsellors, businesspersons, teachers, bankers and many more. Each one brings her special skills and opportunities to network and cooperate in executing socially relevant work to help women, children and underprivileged sections.
I have always assumed that when a woman is professionally armed with skills that take her to peaks and places that she hasn’t reached or reached out to, she gets some freedom. But actually, it has taken women years and decades and centuries to arrive at the conviction that they can say ‘No’ with confidence – even if it takes an entire rally to drum the point home.
That is because there has always been one point that I, or any of us, never factor when we speak of women in professions. That wherever there are women, there are men. Some were already there, and some decided that it was a good place to go to. There are men crawling out from the woodwork, and they aren’t always nice to share space with.
Soroptimist International is thus about women professionals from all over world who have decided to hold hands, support each other and shout that simple fact together.
Would you like to join our group to share our tasks? Then log into www.sibangalore.com, or contact 9243002034.