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Shillong celebrates Valentines Day by discussing about Equality and Respect

The campaign was aimed at creating awareness on consent at a time when sexual assault of various forms, ranging from sexual harassment at the work-place, rapes, child sexual abuse, and domestic violence, are on the rise in this matrilineal state of Meghalaya

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Valentines Day, image credits- Pixabay

Shillong, February 14, 2017: It was a Valentine’s Day with a difference in Meghalaya, thanks to Thma U Rangli Juki (TUR) group for launching a relatable social media and sticker campaign to open up discussion on notions of consent, safety, pleasure, equality, and respect.

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The campaign was aimed at creating awareness on consent at a time when sexual assault of various forms, ranging from sexual harassment at the work-place, rapes, child sexual abuse, and domestic violence, are on the rise in this matrilineal state of Meghalaya.

“Sexual assault and rape happen not just among strangers. Date rapes are common and we need to acknowledge that rapes do take place even within a marriage,” TUR member Badapbor Mawlieh told IANS.

“It is imperative, therefore, that a conversation on what constitutes consent and the importance of practicing consent towards fostering healthy relationships based on equality and respect needs to begin, and what better day than Valentine’s Day — a day that is dedicated to celebrating love and relationships,” he said.

“Sexual consent is a topic that should be talked about whenever there is a possibility of a sexual encounter. When two individuals have sex, they need to be certain that one partner is just as willing to have sex as the other, hence there needs to be full consent,” Mawlieh said.

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The activist said that consent from a partner to engage in a sexual act is one of the most imperative parts of having a mutually satisfying and ethical sexual experience.

“The Indian Penal Code under Section 375 has put forth the meaning of consent as an unequivocal voluntary agreement whereby the woman by words, gestures or any form of verbal or non-verbal communication, communicates a willingness to participate in the specific sexual act,” Mawlieh explained.

TUR activists distributed stickers with messages like “If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get my consent. If it is not yes, it is rape” to young boys and girls in public places, cafes, colleges, and parks, including Ward’s Lake here in the city.

“It is important that society acknowledges sex and sexuality and the need to have honest conversations with boys and girls, men and women on issues such as consent, negotiation, pleasure, bodily autonomy, boundaries, respect and gender equality,” activist Rangad said.

She also said the response also has to be secular and acknowledging realities of sexual lives of the society.

“Mere moral posturing will worsen the situation, forcing the actual issues to be driven underground. Similarly, just a legalistic approach to crimes against women, children and sexual minorities will not have a preventive impact,” she said.

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Rangad said the campaign will expand to talk about such issues at school, colleges and community level.

TUR is a radical democratic group of Meghalaya, campaigning and organizing for a progressive, egalitarian transformation of Meghalaya while acknowledging its history of tribal autonomy. (IANS)

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Tips on What to Wear This Valentine’s Day

Tushar Ved, President of Major Brands India Pvt. Ltd., Charles & Keith and Shilpee Sharma, Head of design and StyleHub, Shoppers Stop, have listed tips on what to wear this Valentine's Day

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Confused what to wear on your date this Valentine’s Day? Opt for flirty ankle strap heels or playful pumps with a bardot neckline tiered dress or just the classic little black dress to woo your partner, suggest experts.

Tushar Ved, President of Major Brands India Pvt. Ltd., Charles & Keith and Shilpee Sharma, Head of design and StyleHub, Shoppers Stop, have listed tips on what to wear this Valentine’s Day.

Shoe tips:

* Ankle strap heels: Ankle strap heels are a must-have this season. Sophisticated and chic, these look effortlessly on trend with any outfit. Sling backs and ankle straps accented in metallic buckles, floral eyelets and criss-cross pleats are ideal for the much needed stability in your stride. Be date-ready in candy colours, subtle golds and deep maroons.

* Pumps: Classic pointed pumps are stylish. It is one of the most versatile styles. Pumps look great with cropped pants, mini-skirts, and, well, just about anything for the perfect date. Styled in vibrant prints, embossed textures and embellished mesh details, pair these pumps with your favourite sling/clutch to complete the look.

* Sneakers: The minimal look is here to stay. Globally, designers continue to show their love to this most wearable style. The humble sneaker is undoubtedly the biggest footwear trend of the year and has kicked off a total fashion revolution. Sported by models, celebrities, bloggers and designers, sneakers have worked for almost all occasions as a fashion statement.

Valentine's Day
A couple buys flowers to celebrate Valentine’s Day, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Feb. 13, 2017. A Pakistani judge has banned Valentine’s Day celebrations in the country’s capital, saying they are against Islamic teachings. VOA

 

* Classic sliders: Classic sliders in pastel hues are the ideal accessory this summer. The ease to slip on and off make slides the perfect companion for a beach sundowner or poolside party.

Dressing tips:

* Brunch date look: A bardot neckline, tiered dress offsets the valentine mood for that special brunch date. Accessorise the outfit with a dainty golden pair of earrings and a chic neck piece. Style the oufit with a pair of wedges, a clutch or sling bag.

* Lunch date look: For a brunch or lunch date, team a romantic dress with a pair of pencil heels for a touch of glamour, or flat sandals for a casual vibe. Versatility is the name of the game.

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* Coffee date look: Opt for a simple yet classy bright schiffley dress. Pair the dress with white flats or sneakers and a long chain for a crisp, V-Day feel.

Dinner date look: A great little black dress is always a good idea. Wear a classic black shift dress from the office straight to a dinner date. Lace ruffles and flutters and embellished neckline add to the chic look. Accessorise with a pair of chic earrings, a shiny clutch and stilettos and your good to go. (IANS)