Global movement ‘One Billion Rising’ marked in Kathmandu with fervour

KATHMANDU: One of the largest global feminist movements — One Billion Rising — launched their 'Rainbow Tag’ in a campaign at Maitighar Mandala in Kathmandu on Wednesday, February 14, 2018. A large group of people joined the march in an attempt to raise their voices against all forms of violence against women.

The march began from the Office of Lalitpur Metropolitan City Office at 11:00 am and ended in Maitighar Mandala at 1:00 pm. Individuals from various walks of life participated in the rally and gathered in Maitighar. The campaign was held with enormous support from women organisations and networks across the country, joining hands to raise their voices against violence against women.

"OBR is celebrated on February 14 every year as we accentuate women solidarity and celebrate love for women on this day," said Roshani Thapa, a member of NGO TEWA in Dhapakhel.

The participants also used dance as a medium to highlight the cause and draw public attention to it. “Dance is the most feminine form of art that has the power to communicate and emote a message in a way that no other art form can. Each year flash mobs and different other dance forms are presented during the campaign in order to bring this initiative to light," said Thapa.

The fundamental message the campaign was trying to give out was that every woman is precious, equally important as a man, and deserves to be treated well.

All the participants were wearing the rainbow tags, which symbolised peace and equality. The programme was concluded with a beautiful dance performed by a group of women.

OBR has been massively celebrated in Nepal since 2014 to promote awareness. Many women as well as men have been joining this initiative comprehending the importance of gender equity for a country to develop and prosper.

On September 7, 2017, OBR was regionally launched at St. Xavier’s School, which was attended by women and human rights groups from Nepal, feminist leaders from South Asia, along with activists from over 10 countries.

While the centre of all OBR campaigns remains ending violence against women, the campaigns are led with different themes each year. The Rainbow Tag campaign was specifically led with the motive of supporting LGBT rights and gender equality, stressing that true feminism is about equality for all genders, male, female and third.

The event also saw quite a decent turnout of male feminists, with their rainbow tags on, who were passionately cheering the female spokespersons and chanting along with the mob. Undoubtedly, the campaign marked the growth of OBR's motto to 'Rise, Resist, Unite for Solidarity'.