And we declare Violence Against Women Awareness Month open

…no it isn’t October yet.

But it is nine days in celebration of a Goddess who embodies female shakti, a force that can slay a demon. Through these nine days of Navratri we will bring you positive stories of women, ordinary women like Bilkis Bano, Bhanwari Devi and Mukthar Mai, and women we all know because of their celebrityhood like Rihanna, for instance, who have one thing in common.

They have all been victims of violence. From physical assault to gang rape. And these are women who have picked themselves up from that horrific incident and moved on, and in some cases got themselves justice.

They have refused to be victims. And for that, we look to them for inspiration. Whether it is a Mukhtar Mai who went on to become an international icon, or closer home, a Bilkis Bano who took on not just those who gangraped her and left her for dead, but also more powerful forces of politicky, being a victim as she was of one of the most horrific riots our country has seen, 2002 Gujarat.

This series in keeping with our tribute to feminine strength and determination, is called Stree Shakti.

Through this month we will also be bringing you positive stories of women who refused to be victims and who fought back. Who got themselves justice, who escaped violent marriages, who brought rapists to book.

Be part of our journey.

Participate in our effort. Because awareness is strength.

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