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Did you know that recently, almost 500 young women in Delhi marched at night to reclaim the streets for women? Here’s what you should know!
The Pinjra Tod campaign is an initiative undertaken by female students in Delhi to protest against the moral policing of women. A night march was undertaken in the South Campus region on 3rd October, 2016 covering the areas of Kailash Colony, GK and Amar Colony.
This march emphasized on the responsibility that the State has towards the protection of women and called out the harassment that women face every day in spite the presence of the so-called ‘protective’ measures.
Slogans such as “Yon utpiran ab nahi sahenge” (We won’t accept suppression of women) and “Yeh sadke hamari hai, puruso ki jagir nahi” (The streets belong to women too) rent the air. The students called for the invocation of the UGC circular on the implementation of UGC Regulations 2015 on Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal of Sexual Harassment of Women Employees and Students, the provisions of which are binding.
This march also succeeded in highlighting how the whole issue of security for women is being dealt with in a very wrong manner – through the restriction of the freedom women hold. They are against the current structure where women are subjected to curfews, CCTVs etc in their living accommodations or subjected to arbitrarily priced PGs to provide for ‘greater safety’.
They raised the awareness that the onus fell on the State to provide an environment with facilities like street lights and safe transportation where women could have a fearless freedom of mobility. They expressed the desire for roads and places they could actually call their own.
Certain instances were also singled out that showed the hypocrisy of the authorities. For instance, drivers were not allowed to stay inside cars but there have also been cases of rich men masturbating in the same area (near Lady Shri Ram College) about which nothing has been done. The authorities were more than willing to take action against certain groups of people alone. This group also seeked justice in a case of sexual harassment of a student of LSR college by a PG owner.
The whole agenda of this young and vibrant young movement is actually just equality in its truest sense. Safety cannot be had by imprisoning women indoors but by increasing the number who are outside manifold.
It is high time we wake up and recognize patriarchy in its raw sense where we take away freedoms of one group due to fear of inappropriateness on part of the other.
Top image has been used from the Pinjra Tod Facebook page