News By/Courtesy: Sneha Suresh | 30 Jul 2020 12:26pm IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Another challenge takes over social media
  • True origin of the challenge
  • Translated into a vanity challenge instead of an awareness campaign

“Black and White”

If you’ve been on the social media platform, Instagram it’s very likely you’ve seen an influx of black and white selfies of women and the hashtags of “challenge accepted” and “womensupportingwomen”. The premise of the “challenge accepted” trend is that these photos encourage women empowerment and that nominating and further tagging friends to take part in the campaign is a way for women to support each other. Now the sentiment is noble but the origin and point of this movement are somehow turning into a vanity trend.
Let’s take a look at what exactly are the roots of this challenge and the real reason it was started

Turkey is one of the leading countries when it comes to femicides. And more than an acceptable number of times, the murderers barely get a slap on a wrist or no charges at all as the consequence of their actions. The Turkish government is trying to abolish certain aspects of [the] Istanbul Convention which is a human rights treaty that protects women against domestic violence. The Turkish people wake up every morning to see a black and white photo of a woman who has been murdered on their social media platforms, in their daily newspapers, on their TV screens. This black and white photo challenge started as a way for women to raise their voices. To stand in solidarity with the women they have lost. To show that one day, it could be their picture that is plastered across news outlets. In an attempt to raise awareness and show respect to the departed, this trend began. A manner of raising their voice.

Women’s activists in Turkey are doing their utter best to fight this, and raise awareness around the world of the actual state of their country and the risk the women face every single day. The Instagram challenge was started with the same intention for there is no tool like social media to spread the word but at the same time, trends often get lost in translation on social media platforms, and sadly, this latest black-and-white trend has fallen victim to the same. Now the hashtags #womenempowerment and #womensupportingwomen from being used for anything other than selfies will cause a detriment to the movement started.


This doesn’t mean that the practice of women lifting each other up must stop or cease to exist, but rather we need to re-navigate this movement for the true purpose it was started for.

WE need to raise awareness on the Istanbul Convention, the implications of leaving said conventions and work towards making a safer world for women.

We must stand in solidarity with them without using this movement to satisfy our vanity.

 

This article does not intend to hurt the sentiments of any individual, community, sect, or religion etcetera. This article is based purely on the author's personal opinion and views in the exercise of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed under Article 19(1)(A) and other related laws being enforced in India for the time being.

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 30 Jul 2020 16:04pm IST


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