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‘Rape That Woman Because She Isn’t Somebody’s Wife / Sister / Daughter’

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Table calendars had been just flipped to welcome December month, the last month of the year and it didn’t come alone. Cold days were on the way as mornings and evenings were turning chilly. That evening was even more cold, chilly. People were turning back to their homes after a hectic day. There was a great rush on the road – cars were blocked against each other on the C-scheme crossing and policemen had made several failed attempts to ensure smooth flow of traffic.

People were so tired that instead of blowing horns, they were patiently waiting for policemen to clear the traffic and road. FM radio was tuned in almost all cars, and similar music on many of the music speakers made the environment live.

Amidst all this, four girls were standing on the Statue Circle with some posters in their hands, which read –

“Come on rape me please, because I ain’t anybody’s sister”,

“I am waiting to be gangraped, because my husband isn’t waiting for me at home”

“Can anybody tore off my mini skirt and make me naked, my father won’t feel ashamed of me”

“Can somebody just insert that hot rod inside my vagina because it isn’t going to give birth to a SON now”.

This was different, this was unique, this was something which made the passer-byes dumbfound. Those four beautiful girls were requesting the people to rape them. Shocking!

At present, we are living in India which is full of self-aware people. As soon as a rape happens, they prepare their banners and posters and come out on roads yelling –

“Don’t rape a girl, your daughter may also get raped tomorrow”,

“Please don’t rape me, I am somebody’s wife”,

“If she isn’t my sister, she would be somebody else’s, don’t rape her”

“You should stop defending the rapists and start caring about the victim. Imagine if she was your sister, or your daughter, or your wife. Imagine how badly you would feel if this happened to a woman that you cared about.”

This way, haven’t you spread an idea that women is valuable or should be respected only because she is loved or valued by a man?

Yes, the rape victim was certainly somebody’s daughter. She might be somebody else’s sister. May be she’ll be a wife soon. But these aren’t the reasons why raping a girl is wrong.

Can’t we spread a harsh but true message? – RAPE IS CRIME IRRESPECTIVE OF THE GENDER TO WHICH IT HAS BEEN DONE. Rape is rape and it shouldn’t done on anybody – whether it is a female or a male.

A female is never respected because she is a human being, she is only respected because she has a relation with some ‘other person’ (and the ‘other person’ only means MAN here).

Many of you may not agree with me because relating a female to a male helps to understand females’ issues and sexual assaults that they have to bear.

In other words, we humanize females by reminding everyone that the female who has suffered sexual harassment today may tomorrow be a female from our lives.

But if keep telling that males that they should respect females and shouldn’t sexually harass them just because they are somebody else’s sister or daughter or mother, we are only spreading the idea that females are weak and require a support from males all the time.

Can we understand that a female deserves not be sexually assaulted because she is a living being, a human being, and not because she is somebody’s sister and somebody else’s daughter and might be somebody’s mother someday?

Can we realise that we need to stop preaching that females shouldn’t be insulted or harmed because they play some important roles in males’ life? Can we think just about them without bringing males in the picture?

To all the females reading this, make your boyfriend/ husband/ friend/ father/ brother/ or any other male respect you, because you are a normal human being – you inhale oxygen in the same way males do, you survive on the planet in the same way as the men do.

Yes, you are somebody’s sister, someone’s mother, someone’s daughter and someone’s wife. But this isn’t something that define this beautiful gender, or make them valuable in the world. They should be respected because they are living beings, not because they add-on a value to life of a male. They deserve to live tension free and without any worries of rape or sexual assault because it is a basic human right.

All the future wives reading this, don’t let your in-laws or your husband respect you just because you are their daughter in law or his wife, or you are somebody’s daughter or princess that he has married; ask him to respect you because you too are a living being like him, you also have organs to work, a mind to think, a heart to pump blood and a body to perform some rituals which he too has to perform.

The attention I get, is not the attention I want. I’m somebody’s daughter, I’m somebody’s sister, I’m somebody’s Gf, I’m somebody, NOT SOME BODY!

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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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