International Women’s Day Walk: #FreedomFromFear | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 10, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 06:41 PM, March 10, 2020

International Women’s Day Walk: #FreedomFromFear

A vigil-walk was seen in the north of the capital around the eve of International Women's Day 2020. The event page of the walk, hosted by Deeory, has been circulating over Facebook for the past week. With the motivation to join the Global March, celebrated by thousands of women all over the world, International Women's Day Walk 2020 was organised by no specific group or person, rather, by women simply living in the capital. However, the idea for the march came to life because of artist Dibarah Mahboob and photographer Mouri Hasan. Through the power of word by mouth and sheer interest on the subject by social media users, it was possible to put together a plan to paint a mural and host a vigil-walk in the span of only a week.

The organisers felt that the North of the city lacked the spirit of walks and marches in general. As independent artists and creators, this group of women got together to mobilise the wave of gender equality that is ongoing throughout the country, but still has a long way to go. The slogan of the walk was 'Freedom from Fear'. It signifies women's right to public spaces, with safety and respect. The organisers also wanted recognise and shift the way rape victims are treated and viewed. Thus, they lit candles to pay homage to women and members of marginalised groups in our country who have to fight battles on a regular basis, both at home and outside. The participants of this march want to be part of a society, which does not prioritise just one gender and attack others.

When asked about the expected outcomes, the team termed it as 'just a drop in the ocean'. They envision more such acts of solidarity and positive activism by women and all other citizens.  They visualised the idea of equality to both the participants and observers through the lens of a beautiful piece of art that the public can access by walking in the open space. For them, equality for women should be pursued every day of the year, and not just on or around International Women's Day.

This is their first installment of the walk, although, the emerging artists have been promoting street art in the city slowly. They intend to expland this movement and build a community where the individuals take initiatives themselves in their localities. The crux of their message is to be free from the fear that human beings and not just women go through, owing to their genders, social classes, financial abilities, religions and so on. Fears such as these are rooted in our society. The young female participants firmly believe that these fears can be eliminated if only we try to communicate and understand each other better, and not fight each other based on our differences. They want to be able to stay at home, walk on roads, and travel in public transport, without any security concerns. 

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