Everyone dancing to the beat of the drums at One Billion Rising in Bangladesh
Photo: Rayhan Sultana Toma/ActionAid
The sound of the beating drums synced to the rhythm of ActionAid’s beating heart!
Drums? on a working day? Very unusual! Everyone stopped what they were doing and rushed downstairs.
YES!! The One Billion Rising (OBR) had begun!
I am guessing the fire-drill a few months back speeded up the process of evacuation, because in a matter of a few seconds the entire building of ActionAid Bangladesh (AAB) was vacant.
Our Country Director, Farah Kabir, joined with the Activista group in the parade
A truck filled with passionate singers of AAB led the parade of 300 Activistas and 80 AAB staff. But hundreds of enthusiastic pedestrians joined the parade and danced along to the rhythm of the drums. The parade stopped and the chanting began:
No More... Violence against women!
No more... Keeping rape a secret!
No more... Keeping silent!
It wasn’t just the ActionAiders. Everyone came out onto the streets regardless of gender, status, ethnicity etc. Even those in big corporations showed their solidarity to this issue. Everyone joined hands for the same objective: the rising of one billion people to stop violence against women. Our communications team assessed that around 3,000 souls were spread over 1 kilometer to form a human chain in support of this cause.
A human chain of a thousand souls
The country director of AAB Farah Kabir in her speech said,
Statistics shows that, between the years 2001 to 2012: 174,691 women have been a victim of sexual harassment. Should we keep silence and accept the situation?
Thousands of people roared the word ‘NOOOO!!!’ She also stated that OBR’s platform will continue to work on this issue, this is just the beginning. Around 3,000 souls took an oath to stop violence against women.
Today was the culmination of the efforts of 100 years; it was not one isolated protest. We will speak out and take action against each and every injustice against women, big or small.
Today I feel confident about being a woman. I danced on the road that finally made me feel that these roads, the neighborhood all belong to me. I am not scared anymore, cause I know I’m not alone... One billion have risen with me!
A young girl watches a flash-mob during the traffic signal in Gulshan 1 Circle