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16 Ways For These 16 Days (And Beyond) To End Violence Against Women

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During these 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence, take some time out to think about these 16 ways in which we can tackle violence in our daily lives. If violence is taking place all around us in so many forms, then why not start here and now?

1. Listen

If history has shown us anything, it is that everyone else claims to know more about women, than women themselves. If you really want to know what women are trying to say, stop yapping about it and just listen! 

2. Surprise! You’re Not The Centre Of The Universe

Since we live in a patriarchal society, men are often made to believe that they are the centre of the universe. If even for a moment, we could all stop thinking like this, it would be a lot easier to understand women’s agency and freedom.

3. Reflect

Sometimes, people won’t like you back. And that’s okay. So instead of being destructive, and throwing tantrums about getting rejected, it’s good to sit back, relax and reflect. Give yourself the time you need to move forward from it.   

4. Repeat After Me: No Means No

And say it again! It’s no secret that women’s agency and consent is still not understood and acknowledged. Not understanding consent has led to widespread sexual violence and abuse against women, and it is high time that men learn that NO MEANS NO!

5. It’s Not Dokha; It’s You

This is so important, we have to put it here twice! It’s common to fear betrayal (dhokha) but what a lot of men fail to realise is that the emotions of resentment that this fear brings are a byproduct of entitlement, that comes from patriarchy, which for ages has had some sort of control over women’s bodies and sexuality.

6. Stop Talking

Stalking is a very serious problem that women face which makes public and cyberspaces unsafe for them and restricts their mobility. If men stop obsessing over where women are going and who they are talking with, it’ll be one less thing women have to worry about. Also, for those who did not know, Stalking is illegal!

7. Do Not Define Women By The Men Around Them

It is very common practice for women to be defined as someone’s wife, sister, mother, and so on. Men are still placed at the centre of women’s identities instead of their own achievements. 

8. Find Better Role Models

There is way too much testosterone-driven masculinity (*cough* Kabir Singh *cough*) in popular culture that appropriates violent behaviour. So, let’s broaden our horizons and find better people to look up to and learn something from.

9. Don’t Mansplain

10. Take Responsibility For Your Actions

Allegations of violence against women are often met with defensive behaviour and shifting blame. Blaming alcohol or other circumstances for any kind of violence actually justifies the perpetrators and misplaces the conversation

11. Think Of Better Jokes

Inappropriate humour, especially at the workplace that stereotypes people’s identities and bodies are not funny, but hurtful. Verbal abuse and harassment are also forms of violence that many people, especially women, and gender-nonconforming people, face regularly. Instead of saying “Just Kidding”, just think of better jokes.

12. Believe

Women’s accounts of facing various forms of violence have been and still is discredited and dismissed across the globe. It is very crucial that we BELIEVE them if we ever want to eliminate all violence against women.

13. End Victim Blaming

Blaming survivors of violence for what they go through, is very often, the first response. Women are not asking for it and saying so only perpetuates an endless cycle of violence.

14. Do Not Expect A Medal

The expectation of gender-sensitive behaviour is so low, that whenever a man does the bare minimum (like not being violent, sharing work at home or just not objectifying women), they feel the need to be applauded and praised. So how about, after following all these steps, don’t ruin it and just sit down!

15. Take A Stand

Violence against women perpetuates because people don’t speak up against it enough. From language to microaggressions, acts of violence go unchallenged in all our lives. So, calling out what’s wrong is essential.

16. Don’t Stop Here

You must be to comment.
  1. Shailendra Yadav

    Article is completely biased. It assume that women do nothing except becoming victim of violence

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Find out more about the campaign here.

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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.

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