The #MeToo Campaign Helps Show The Way Forward For Indian Feminism

The #MeToo campaign helped women from all around the world in throwing light on sexual abuse. Not only that, it also gave women the opportunity to support each other, to empower themselves and to have a chance to talk about a serious issue that usually remains in the dark.

India is one of those countries that for a very long time had a tradition-bound society where women were always considered less than men. Expectations regarding men and women and their roles have changed a lot over the years and campaigns like the #MeToo campaign have played an important part in that.

What Is The #MeToo Campaign?

The #MeToo campaign is a movement against sexual harassment and assault that started to spread virally in October 2017. This happened after sexual misconduct allegations against former American film producer Harvey Weinstein were made public.

Alyssa Milano was the first one to make this hashtag popular and encourage women to come forward and share their stories of sexual harassment. Many women came forward and the phrase went viral when popular celebrities like Uma Thurman, Gwyneth Paltrow, and many others decided to talk about their personal experiences as well.

This campaign gained great popularity within just a few days and it truly was a great starting point for addressing all kinds of situations where women were assaulted or harassed. The same thing applies to Indian women, who, in many cases, still face discrimination and sexual violence on a daily basis.

Supporting Feminism And Helping It Grow In India

In the past, women’s roles in India were certainly quite varied. Even now, upper-class women have more opportunities with regards to receiving an education and having the ability to work. On the other hand, women in the lower classes have very different roles. They usually have to work very hard to support their families and they usually aren’t treated the best.

Women from the lower classes are the ones that usually experience the most violence.  In most, if not all, of these cases where women were subjected to violence or sexual harassment, the women themselves were held accountable. It was considered that they had brought this situation upon themselves. Victim-blaming has been a problem for many years and thankfully, there have been a lot of campaigns against it in recent years.

The #MeToo campaign allows women to talk about their stories without shame or fear or guilt. Women’s rights are being emphasised and this campaign can truly help Indian women – whose basic human rights are oftentimes not taken into consideration – find their own voice.

While feminism in India in the past used to focus on topics like child-marriage, abortions, and dowry-related violence, this new campaign is helping feminism evolve and see sexual harassment in a different and more serious way.

Protesting In New Ways

Throughout the years, there have been many campaigns and movements which have helped shed some light on the current situation faced by Indian women. The more popularity this movement gains, the more women it can reach and help.

This phrase defines a new way of protesting against the lack of basic human rights of many women in India. While many still don’t have access to social media and continue living in situations where they are degraded and manipulated, there are women who have had the privilege of getting an education. Today, they are in a better place in life and they are fighting hard to spread the message of their mistreatment through the written word.

Social media is giving women a freedom of speech they didn’t have before. Social media is allowing them to share publicly exactly what is going on and the situation they live in.

The power of social media is quite strong finally, as a result, women’s stories are not being distorted. Online campaigns, like #MeToo, reach out to both young and old people from all around the world. It helps them learn more about all the issues that lie underneath all the sexual harassment stories in India like the continuous gender inequality and daily occurrences of sexual violence.

Baby Steps Towards The Right Direction

Even though this movement is still new to the world, it has truly helped women rid themselves of the shame and fear that a sexual assault brings. India is one of the countries where sexual assault episodes happen on a frequent basis and sadly, there are many women who are not in a position to stand up for themselves.

The #MeToo campaign can really help shed some light on situations where women don’t have the upper hand. It can help explain all the inequalities women in India go through to the rest of the world. A new era for feminism has been marked in India and women can only hope to see better days. As long as we have each other’s backs, we will be able to fight through anything.

Similar Posts

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below