EMK Center organised a day long series of workshops and interesting events recently to mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
The first session titled, ‘Mapping the Violence' was conducted by Umama Zillur, Founder, Cholo Kotha Boli and Nazmun Naher Shishir, Project Coordinator, Elimination of Violence against Women.
The workshop was based on understanding and recognising violence and harassment against women and how women face such issues on a daily basis.
The panelists shared their own stories, inspiring the audience to become involved in the discussion. University students, journalists and school teachers in the audience shared their personal experiences as well.
While interacting with the audience, Umama Zillur asked everyone few questions to understand their perception. Men also stepped up to share their personal experiences with harassment.
Umama Zillur also spoke about the stereotypical perspectives on sexual desires, rape victims, survivors, child marriage and many other issues.
"Sexual harassment and violence against women are acts of showing power to suppress women. But patriarchy is not about any specific gender -- all men are not patriarch. If everyone is aware of their rights along with others, patriarchy can be abolished," shared Nazmun Naher Shishir.
The second panel of the day was attended by Preema Nazia Andaleeb, Director and Creative Editor, Bangladesh Brand Forum; and Priyanka Bose Kanta, Lecturer, Department of Law, University of the Dhaka.
Among the three different panels on violence against women, the third one was led by Zareen Mahmud Hosein, Founder of HerStory Foundation and Nomita Halder, and acid attack survivor and a teacher at BMIF, Mirpur.
"To educate a child about gender balance, parents and teachers have to ensure proper upbringing. If in any way parents encourage stereotypes in front of their children, automatically they will adopt that,” shared Zareen.
A performance art titled, ‘Still I Rise’, adapted from Maya Angelou's poem, Still I Rise, directed by Ahmed Tahsin Shams, also took the stage. The performers were Rose, Priyana, and Elizabeth. Vocal artists were Sharlin Farzana and Ahmed Tahsin Shams.
At the end of the program, the short film, Dhaka Shuts, by Avant-Garde Production, was screened. It depicts the daily struggles of women in Dhaka streets. The short film is an adaptation of a poem of the same name by Nazmun Naher Shishir.
The goal of the event was to create awareness about women empowerment and to promote an inclusive society of peace and harmony. It ended with a storytelling session with students.