Posts Tagged ‘violence against women’

We are the 97%

March 24, 2021

Last Friday I found a couple of women chalking on the street.

Why I do not know, and lacked the time to stop and ask. 

Later at the weekend I learnt on Look North they were writing of their own experience of sexual harassment, then on Monday, one spoke of whilst she was writing she was being abused and harassed by men passing by, which only served to underline the point they were making. 

Lincoln City Council have stated they will not wash off the messages. How generous (I am being sarcastic).

In a recent survey, 97% of women claim they have been sexually harassed or abused, and as some of the messages showed, often from a very early age whilst they were still children.  Not a very good reflection of society and how women are treated. 

The vigil for Sarah Everard the previous weekend, many of those present told similar stories. The vigil was broken up by heavy-handed Met Police, many of the women assaulted. Sarah Everard, on the same day, a serving Met Police Officer appeared in Court charged with her kidnap and murder. 

A couple of days ago, a serving police officer, a different police force, received a slap on the wrist for attacking a woman as she walked home, the police force dragged their feet investigating the attack. 

I found yesterday, messages on Steep Hill as I walked down, many more when I reached  the High Street. 

Hurried Steps

November 27, 2009

Hurried Steps by Dacia Maraini

Hurried Steps by Dacia Maraini

“Our goal is clear: an end to these inexcusable crimes – whether it is the use of rape as a weapon of war, domestic violence, sex trafficking, so-called “honour” crimes or female genital mutilation/cutting. We must address the roots of this violence by eradicating discrimination and changing the mindsets that perpetuate it.” — UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

“With hurried steps these women flee from pain and discrimination. Inspired by real facts reported by Amnesty International, the text is a testimony, an accusation, a gesture of solidarity and acknowledgement of all those women who are still prisoners of a forced marriage, of a violent family, of a hustler, of tradition or of age-old discriminations which are so difficult to overcome.” — Dacia Maraini

Written by Dacia Maraini and directed by Nicolette Kay, Hurried Steps had its world premier at the Mill Studio in Guildford on Thursday evening.

The performance by New Shoes Theatre is based on eight Amnesty International cases of violence against women. As the director was to say after the performance, it matters not culture, class or country, the violence is the same. And so the little vignettes showed, whether it was cultural violence against women in Muslim or African countries, or violence against women in the West in a domestic situation, or violence against women who are trafficked as modern-day slaves, the violence is the same, whatever the situation, it is violence against women.

The performance was unusual. Instead of enacting the little scenes, the actors, three women and two men stood behind music stands, but this was to make the drama even more powerful. And powerful it was. It left one numb.

Dacia Maraini who wrote the play has been a feminist since the 1970s. She wished to bring to a wider audience violence against women, and this play was her means of doing so. She asks that a discussion takes place afterwards on the issues raised, and after a short break, a discussion took place led by the director Nicolette Kay, together with a lady from Amnesty International and a lady from a local support network.

I will not cite the figures here, but the statistics on violence against women is truly appalling. Equally appalling is that such violence is tolerated.

Hurried Steps is a very powerful and moving drama. If you get the chance to see the performance by New Shoes Theatre, please go as you will not regret it. New Shoes Theatre are currently on tour in the UK with Hurried Steps.

The performance was to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Amnesty International are running a Stop Violence Against Women campaign.

A couple of days before I saw Hurried Steps I had been notified by Paulo Coelho of the launch by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the tenth anniversary of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (24 November 2009) of the UN network of men leaders to combat violence against women. The network brings together politicians, activists, religious and community leaders. Members of the network include Brazilian writer and UN Messenger of Peace Paulo Coelho and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

The next Amnesty event in Guildford will be a play on political prisoners at the Electric Theatre on Monday 14 December 2009.

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