‘One of the most critical issues that we are protesting against is the Digital Security Act’
The International Women’s Day Committee will organize a march in Dhaka on the theme of democracy on Friday.
The committee, comprising 50 organizations, alliances, networks, and forums, will hold the “cultural celebration of resistance” to protest the “repressive environment in which we are currently living”, according to a press release.
The Digital Security Act (DSA) is one of the key issues that the participants will protest against.
The march will start from Noor Hossain Square at 11 am and proceed towards Suhrawardy Udyan. Afterward, the protesters will gather at Suhrawardy Udyan for songs of resistance, dances, and art and story sharing.
“People are welcome to join us at any point of the march or directly at Suhrawardy Udyan,” said the committee.
Alongside the march in Dhaka, events will be held at 40 locations across the country under the same theme.
The organization said: “The constitution of our country guarantees the rights of the people — the right to question, the right to freedom of speech, the right to mobility, the right to organize, the right to self-determination and, above all, the right to question those in power in our families, in our government and in our society.
“These elements are at the core of the feminist struggle. Without a democratic state and a democratic environment, it is impossible for women and gender diverse people to question power, push for accountability and pursue justice.”
It continued: “One of the most critical issues that we are protesting against is the DSA. Anti-democratic laws such as the DSA do not help create safety for women and gender-diverse people, as we saw last year’s Noakhali case where men with political affiliations disseminated the video of a sexual assault to intimidate the survivor.”
“The fact that a culture of impunity in our country right now allows these assaulters to be confident in sharing the video shows exactly why the DSA is not about creating a safe online environment for citizens, even women,” read the media release.
The International Women’s Day Committee said its fight was a struggle for freedom and democracy.
“We urgently need to fight to bring back democracy — to hold on to the successes we have achieved for ourselves and to have the space for us to continue this fight in the future,” the committee said.