'You don’t need to know feminism. You need to know you are a human being. You have a right to freedom, mobility, and self-respect'
Indian developmental feminist activist Kamla Bhasin shared her life experience with an audience in Dhaka on Saturday at “An Evening with Kamla” where she shared her personal stories that played an important role in her life.
“You don’t need to know feminism. You need to know you are a human being. You have a right to freedom, mobility, and self-respect,” the renowned activist said to the audience at Chhayanut auditorium.
“It’s family that say’s ‘no’ where the constitution says all citizen’s are ‘free’ and ‘equal.’ It is the fear that keeps us bounded. No one questions religion – that how religion teaches us to kill, we are afraid to challenge religion, even culture. We made culture, we can change it, we made patriarchy, we can change it,” she added
Citing the United Nation’s Human Rights Charter, she said: “Freedom is really very important. Until everyone is free, freedom is useless.”
Kamla further elaborated on how patriarchy and capitalism is interconnected by pointing at data that suggests 80% of boys aged between 12-18 in South Asia are looking at pornography which reinforces gender norms through exploiting women and then capitalizing on that imagery.
She called capitalist patriarchy the “demon” and criticized the accepted notions of beauty in South Asia.
The program ended on a positive note where Kamla said with gender equality everyone wins.
The event was organized by Christian Aid, Sangat - South Asian Feminist Network, and One Billion Rising.