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13 Protest Photos That Showcase How The World Came Out To Fight For Rights In 2013

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By Mayank Jain:

It is only when people rise, that the true spirit of freedom awakens. 2013 as a year, was a milestone in the spirit of freedom and human rights. People from all over the world came on streets and spoke for themselves in ways that were innovative as well as tenacious. Let’s recount some of the major protests that happened round the globe in this year:

1. Thailand’s Political Protests:
Thailand has witnessed strong political protests meant to oppose Thaksin Shinawatra’s influence on the incumbent Pheu Thai Party. The government has proposed an Amnesty Bill that will pave way to acquittal of Abhisit Vejjajiva and Suthep Thaugsuban and also aid in the return of the self-exiled prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Thailand Politics

2. Euromaidan:
With a “a will to change life in Ukraine” the protests have evolved since November and people are protesting against the government with the aim of getting European Union Association Agreement and Free Trade Agreement by the government and also improving the state of governance and eradication of corruption.


3. Balcombe Drilling Protests:
The Balcombe drilling protests were born when the government sanctioned test drilling and fracking (hydraulic fracturing) for Balcombe, which is a village near west Sussex. The protest has taken an important stand of protection against harmful impacts of industrial scale exploitation of shale gas.


4. Million People March:
Million People March is probably one of the first ever national movements in Philippines born out of social media in their infancy. The protests are against government and its fund appropriation strategy to make money for the representatives rather than for the welfare of the state. The protestors call for an end to Pork Barrel and widespread corruption.


5. Catalan Way:
Also known as the Catalan Way for Independence was a one of a kind protest for Catalonia’s independence from Spain. The protest was organized on National Day of Catalonia in the form of a 480 kilometer human chain. According to Carme Forcadell, president of the ANC, it was “a symbol of the unity of Catalan people to achieve national sovereignty”.


6. Rise up, Ukraine!
Rise up, Ukraine! Is the series of protests carried out all over the country by opposition national parties All-Ukrainian Union “Fatherland”, UDAR and All-Ukrainian Union “Svoboda” against the government of the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych that have taken place in Ukraine since 14 March 2013. The protests are majorly peaceful including rallies, marches and picketing.

No-confidence vote fails in Ukrainian parliament

7. Protests Against The Borisov Cabinet
The protests were against the very high hot water and electricity bills the residents of Bulgaria received and later evolved into a non-partisan movement against the government and the political system. The protests ended on 20th February, 2013 with the resignation of Boyko Borisov government.

Borisov Cabinet

8. 2013 protests in Brazil
These protests are also known as V for Vinegar Movement, Brazilian Spring and June Journeys. The protests are formed of several ongoing public demonstrations in many cities of Brazil asking for less priority to fund for major sport events and instead work towards better transportation systems as well as basic amenities for the citizens.


9. 2013 Protests in Turkey
The protests were a form of civil movement in the country with the aim to protecting Gezi Park and the forest of METU and also highlighting the lack of consultation and police’s use of excessive force. The protestors are asking for resignation of ErdoÄŸan’s government and defending their right to freedom of speech.


10. 2013 Armenian Protests
This ongoing movement in Armenia is getting bigger by the day and is 10 months old already. The protests are against the monopolization, inflation, and an alleged election fraud during the 18 February 2013 presidential election. The major demands include resignation of the president and cancellation of a controversial gas deal with Russia.


11. Protests Against The Oresharski Cabinet
Born out of the capital Sofia in Bulgaria, these protests are against the left wing coalition cabinet of Oresharski. The demonstrations started on 28 May, 2013 and still continue as people protest government corruption and the general failure of the democratic system in the country because of political deals happening under the table.

Protests Against The Oresharski Cabinet

12. 2013 Romanian Social Protests
One of the important modern day struggles for better wages and living conditions is going on in Romania triggered as an opposition to the Roșia Montană Project which is a gold and silver mining project initiated in Romania. The demands include allocation of at least 6% of GDP on health and education each as well as resignation of the president and the prime minister. Various causes have merged into one and they vary from Euthanasia of street dogs to Shale drilling and IMF presence in the country.


13. Delhi Gang Rape Protests:
After the horrific incident of gang rape of a 23 year old student in a private bus by the driver and five others including an unnamed juvenile resulted in mass anger and agitations against the Government of India and the Government of Delhi. The incident happened on 16 December, 2012 but the protests continued all around the country till much later and rallies and marches are being observed even today as part of the protest against lax security for women in the capital.

delhi protests

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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