Ever imagined a highly gender-driven topic like feminism gaining significance on World Earth Day?
Living in a land where gendered notions are attributed to ecology and nature, where the metaphorical tone of 'dignified' feminine tolerance is concealed in the mythological Mother Earth, there could be a no better day to put forward a bold statement against the 'glorified' oppression being faced by Indian women.
Taking the lead was the Women and Child Development (WCD) department of the state government that came up with a unique campaign on April 22, when the world observed Earth Day.
"Boomiyolam Thaazhendavaralla Sthreekal"-which translates to 'women are not meant to be tolerant like mother earth'-, is a direct take on the entrenched patriarchy. Only a few days ago, the department had came up with bold catchlines as 'only strong women shall be tagged as 'Pokkucase', 'Orumbettaval', 'Ahankari' or 'Thannisthtakkari' by society which women need not mind at all'.
The department had rolled out five such Information, Education & Communication (IEC) materials under the theme, 'Ini Venda Vittuveezcha' (No more compromise by women) since February.
Another interesting campaign material which took a jibe at the patriarchy is that 'women will decide their marriage age and society need not worry'. Unlike earlier times where a government should hesitate to invite the wrath of the patriarchal value system of society, WCD seems to be trying to expose the hollowness of Indian 'values' itself.
Since February this year, the department has rolled out half a dozen such Information, Education & Communication (IEC) materials under the theme, 'Ini Venda Vittuveezcha' which means 'No more compromises' (by women), all of which have gained considerable social media traction.
The latest under the banner was the Vishu series that came up with a set of interesting illustrations of women taking all the pain in arranging the auspicious 'Vishu Kani' for the entire family. An album 'Angine Venam' featuring singer Arya Dayal has become viral for celebrating the vibrant change women folks underwent as per the times.
"The recent campaign materials of the department reflect the mind of girls. Of late, they have become a rage in family WhatsApp groups. It is a big support for the girls who are surrounded by family members and teachers rooted in patriarchy," notes Raseena K K, teacher at GHSS Malappuram. She is all praise for campaign that proclaims abortion as the choice of women.
"We are eagerly looking forward to new campaigns from the government. It has struck a chord with new generation women," said advocate Sapna Parameswarath of 'Punarjani', Kozhikode.
'Aimed to initiate discussion'
WCD department Director T V Anupama said the campaigns were envisioned to initiate a serious discussion in society.
"Unlike the preaching kind of campaign, we thought of addressing the crux of the problem and reach out to youth," said Anupama who is all excited about the overwhelming response from the campaign.