NEW DELHI: The #MeToo movement on Twitter and other social media platforms has helped to start conversations on harassment against women, said journalists on the eve of International Women’s Day at an event in the national capital.
“The movement made the words ‘Me Too’ a household name. It has forced companies to kickstart dead ICCs (Internal Complaints Committees). It has also initiated a conversation at all levels,” journalist Rituparna Chatterjee said at ‘Dare to be Conversations-Women Achievers Summit 2019’ celebrating entrepreneurship, equality, empowerment and leadership.
The summit, powered by The Morning Standard, saw women achievers from a range of areas come together on a platform to share their stories with the audience.
Rituparna pointed out there was a lack of pro bono services to fight these cases. There is a need for more solidarity among different stakeholders, she said, adding men should be also involved in the discussions.
While the movement brought stories of harassment from various industries such as Bollywood, media, advertising, corporate to the fore, journalist Poorvi Gupta from Shethepeople.TV asserted there was also a need to cover stories from the non-mainstream areas. She discussed about the dignity march in which women travelled across many states and Union Territories to speak out against the sexual violence that they have faced.
Social worker Rashmi Anand, who herself endured 10 years of a violent marriage, recounted how her zeal to take up social work was borne out of a ‘survival instinct’. “There was not a bone in my body which was not beaten up…my son had stopped speaking and my daughter had become quite withdrawn.” Narrating her turbulent journey, Rashmi spoke of how her family did not support her during this time but eventually she gathered the courage to walk out of the marriage.
The other panels discussed a range of issues such as women leading from the front, the road less travelled, women in art, culture, music, literature, journalism and fashion, and from homemakers to newsmakers.
The running theme in these discussions reiterated the need for women to be able to exercise their choice in pursuing careers. Panelists spoke of their experiences of fighting gender bias at workplace and the way they were perceived in work spaces. “Women have by the virtue of their own abilities to bring about a change...have created a smarter place for themselves, a space which provides an accelerated pace of development,” said Rashmi Singh, secretary, New Delhi Municipal Council.