INDIA: Salesians protest violence against women
Don Bosco Savedi holds silent protest in response to violence against women in Manipur
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Savedi, located in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, India, held a silent protest on the Nagar Manmad highway in protest of the injustice and violence against women in the area. Manipur has faced ongoing protests since a video taken two and a half months ago surfaced showing a sexual assault of two women who were stripped and paraded by a mob.
In response, the city has seen a wave of protests, some violent. Nearly 160 people have died, and more than 50,000 people have been displaced. Houses, churches and places of worship have been burnt and reduced to rubble.
Citizens of the area, including women and girls, participated in the Salesian-led silent march. The march began with participants wearing black masks and holding banners in protest against the violence. A petition was signed by the participants in the hopes of creating social awareness and change to ensure the respect and dignity of women.
The silent protest stands as a powerful symbol of resistance against the deeply entrenched gender inequality prevailing in the region.
Father James Tuscano, the principal of Don Bosco Vidyalaya, which also participated in the protest, addressed the crowd that gathered. He said, “Through this silent march, we want to say that we are against the injustice and violence unleashed on the women of Manipur, which still continues to burn. We want to appeal to the government to take the necessary steps to ensure peace, harmony, safety and security, especially for women in Manipur.”
Salesians have long worked for the equality for women, ensuring that young girls and women have access to the education and social supports they need to be equal members of their community and gain self-sufficiency.
India has the world’s fourth largest economy but more than 22% of the country lives in poverty. About 31% of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative.
India’s youth face a lack of educational opportunities due to issues of caste, class and gender. Almost 44% of the workforce is illiterate and less than 10% of the working-age population has completed a secondary education. In addition, many secondary school graduates do not have the knowledge and skills to compete in today’s changing job market.
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