Hundreds of women marched down the centre of Delhi on 8th March on the anniversary of International Women’s Day. They marched from Rajiv Chowk to Jantar Mantar. The city’s centre resounded with militant slogans that the women raised in unison. Several among them were veteran activists whose energy and enthusiasm matched those of the young women who were present in large numbers.
The marchers held aloft placards and chinese banners that reflected the resolve of the women to fight to the end for their rights. The slogans included - Women cannot be silenced, We know our Rights, An attack on Women is an attack on all of Society, Down with State Terrorism and Communal Violence, There can be no Emancipation for Society without the Emancipation of Women, With Political Power in our hands, we will end Exploitation and Injustice.
At Jantar Mantar, representatives of the various participating organisations addressed the meeting. The speakers hailed the struggles of women over the century and more, since the first International Women’s Day and recalled the demands of that struggle. They elaborated on the miserable conditions of millions of women in India, and clarified that several governments have come and gone, but our concerns as women, as workers, as citizens have not been addressed by any of the governments. The speakers pointed out that violence against women is increasing every year. They condemned the ruling class and their political parties for the crimes against women. They called on all women to unite in the struggle for women’s emancipation and empowerment. Some of the organisations presented songs and skits.
The organisations that participated in this event included YWCA, Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression, TARSHI, Swastika Mahila Samiti, Society for Labour and Development, Samarthyam, Sama, Saheli Women’s Resource Centre, Rashtriya Dalit Mahila Andolan, RAHI Foundation, Purogami Mahila Sangathan, NoMore Campaign, Nirantar, Nazariya, A Queer Feminist Resource Group, National Federation of Indian Women, NAB-Centre for Blind Women, Joint Women’s Programme, Feminist Approach to Technology, FeminismInIndia.com, Deaf Way Foundation, Centre for Advocacy & Research, Azad Foundation, All India Progressive Women’s Association, All India Democratic Women’s Association and Action India. Several planning meetings had been held in the run up to the event. The great unity among the women was evident in the organisation of the march and in the meeting at Jantar Mantar.
Long Live International Women’s Day!
Long Live the Fighting Unity of Women!