Today marks the start of 16 days of activism against gender violence.
Aside from writing this quick blog post, I didn’t do anything to mark the day. I’m in India this week and I spent the day visiting the Taj Mahal. It took 10 hours to go the round-trip distance of 250 miles. I saw no gender violence on the streets, but I noticed a stark lack of women. Men were huddled along the road in groups, driving and riding in every possible mode of transportation imaginable, sitting in coffee shops, and crossing the street in large groups. I saw some women walking and riding in vehicles too, but the ratio was perhaps 1:10 or even 1:15, women to men. So while I saw no direct gender violence, the lack of women is partially because of gender violence and gender inequality in the homes and on the streets. Around the world, women’s mobility restriction in public spaces is often caused by a fear of gender violence.
I wrote a bit about this for the Ms blog earlier this week. I also want to direct you to my travel companion’s Ms blog post about the conference we attended earlier this week in Delhi. She highlighted two of the outstanding women we heard from who are working every day to end gender violence and discrimination against women in the slums and against women with disabilities. They are inspirational.
I also want to direct to you to two of the most recent stories about the amazing woman who fought against the gender violence she experienced on the New York City subway system.
I encourage you to consider doing something in the next 16 days to speak out, act out, or write out against gender violence.