Thousands March for Women’s Safety and Empowerment

As the clock ticks and the day begins to wind down, the only thing that comes to mind for every woman is to rush home. Whether it’s literally sprinting or letting family members know their location every minute, women do it all. All for one reason – it’s not safe to be outside after the sun goes down. If by chance there is even a slight delay, the family also begins to worry.

Why is being outside after a certain time considered dangerous? Well, the answer lies in the question itself. This is because, as it gets darker, fewer women go out, and as a result, the roads are perceived as dangerous.

VOLVO addressed this beautifully via a video, set against the background of an old popular Hindi song, showing three women and sending a simple message that the more women on the streets, the safer it will become. This video struck a chord with many people, especially women who could relate to it.

VOLVO, with the aim of encouraging women to go out and reclaim their urban spaces, organized a night march. Mumbai Night Walk which was organized by VOLVO under the #MakeYourCitySafe initiative in collaboration with Crossbow Miles invited all women to participate in large numbers.

The atmosphere of the symbolic march, which took place on May 19, was set from the start of the event with moving music and lectures by various artists who defend the cause of equal rights for women.

In the latest stage of the movement, which was the midnight march itself, was joined by Srishti Bakshi, founder and campaign champion of Crossbow Miles, who also holds the unique feat of walking 3,800 km from Kanyakumari to Srinagar in 230 days to raise awareness about empowering women through financial and digital literacy. She is convinced that small steps lead to bigger changes. Issues like misogyny and gender stereotypes cannot change overnight and only sustained efforts to eradicate them completely can bring change.

Bakshi joined the cheering crowd of female walkers who marched from High Street Phoenix to Mahalaxmi Racecourse. The event hosted performances by spoken word poet Simar Singh, singer Abhilasha Sinha, singer-songwriter Aarifah Rebello, rapper Sofia Ashraf and award-winning singer Rekha Bharadwaj. The event saw highly acclaimed personalities like Sushmita Sen and Dia Mirza also present.

This is not the first time that such a night march has been organized by Crossbow Miles. Also earlier, public night walks were held in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Gwalior and New Delhi, attended by 200-15,000 people in each city.

The Logical Indian congratulate VOLVO the great success of their initiative #MakeYourCitySafe. We also want women to come out of their apprehensions and reclaim their urban spaces together.

Mara R. Wilmoth