Saturday the 6th of March was the Million Women Rise march. Scheduled the closest weekend to International Women’s Day, Million Women Rise brings together women from all over the country to march against violence against women – domestic and sexual abuse. For more on my thoughts on why it’s important for women to stand up agains VAW, and why it does require a different approach than violence against men, by men, see here.
This following quote was on a few placards, and really stuck in my mind:
“It has probably become more dangerous to be a woman than to be a soldier in armed conflict”
– Major-General Patrick Cammaert, former Commander of UN Peacekeeping forces in the eastern Congo (Source).
There was a really good turn out. You can see the F Word’s coverage here with links to @CTrouper and @Jester‘s photo sets. Below see an audioboo I recorded just before we got going, a flickr slideshow of my snaps, and a couple of videos of speakers/singers at the rally after the march.
It’s difficult to get involved in domestic and sexual violence protest if you are male, because it’s often important that such spaces are ‘safe’ spaces for people who have been subject to such violence, and also that women are able to be seen to be powerful in their own right.
If you want to oppose male violence against women, and are male, you can start by recognising that women are not objects or possessions, oppose their portrayal as such in the media, magazines, music, your workplace, and your own home. You could also check out the White Ribbon Campaign, and support Rape Crisis Centres, Refuge, and Amnesty International‘s work in countries where rape is being used as a weapon of war, and state religion refuses women rights over their own bodies.