According to World Bank statistics, gender-based violence (among women in the age group of 15 to 44 years) causes more deaths and injuries than cancer, malaria, traffic incidents and war. Startling as this sounds, the cases of violence against women is a growing concern in the city and across the country.
In 2011, government statistics revealed that there have been 146 incidents of kidnapping of women, 21 dowry deaths and 312 incidents of cruelty by husband, in the city itself. To raise awareness about such issues, SNEHA, an NGO working with women and children, has launched a 16-day activism advocacy campaign against gender violence. The campaign titled, Break the Silence on Violence, will start on November 25 (International Day for Elimnation of Violence against Women) and end on December 10 (International Human Rights Day).
The campaign coincides with the international campaign, 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, which was started by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) in 1991. As part of the events, a White Ribbon Day will be held to focus on things men can do to prevent violence against women. Apart from sessions and discussions on different aspects of gender violence, the campaign will also feature theatre performances, installations, workshops, cultural performances and a candle-light vigil for those who have lost their lives on account of violence.
“When people see violence happening on the streets, at times they think they should not intervene as it is a personal matter. But violence is not a personal matter. When we see women get abused in front of our eyes, we should speak up and intervene. That’s something the campaign will stress on,” says Dr Nayreen Daruwalla, director, Program on Prevention of Violence against Women and Children, SNEHA. “At Carter Road, there is going to be a huge art installation, where people can come in and write messages,” she adds.