New Delhi: The ultimate guide for Indian women for over six decades, Femina, has partnered with UN Women and several leading NGOs of the country to raise awareness around prevalent issues of domestic violence due to co-habitation during the pandemic, with their latest campaign ‘#ActAgainstAbuse’. Taking this thought forward and to help spread the message to put an end to this menace, Femina has roped in eminent songwriter and two-time National Award winner Prasoon Joshi to pen down a poem on the issue #IgnoreNoMore. The brand also roped in some of the most influential stars of the country like Shabana Azmi, Radhika Apte, Sonakshi Sinha, Aditi Rao Hydari, Taapsee Pannu to further emphasize on the severity of the abuse and its prevalence.
The poem penned by Prasoon Joshi will address the fundamental prerequisite to behavior change – “The Barrier of Societal Apathy”. The video is inspired by the three wise monkeys that embody the proverb of “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” that will see the leading ladies of Bollywood with either their eyes, ears, or mouth covered, perfectly in sync with the lines of the poem being spoken. The poem’s hard-hitting lyrics make us aware of the countless times we’ve seen and heard cases of domestic violence, yet chose to keep silent. With emotions of hurt and turmoil put across in a relatable manner, the poem asks one the pressing question – when we will stop reacting to this menace in a passive manner.
To create a strong awareness drive in addition to the poem, the brand’s partnership with UN Women will position the campaign on the global map and create a worldwide awareness. Both the platforms have worked closely to curate a sensitive line of communication for creating awareness and inspiring change while being mindful about the projected outcomes. In addition to creating awareness around the wide prevalence of this heinous act, the brand also empowers its audience and anyone who witnesses such a wrongdoing by providing them with detailed information, guidance, and support to battle it. For this, Femina created a special microsite (Act Against Abuse) to equipping them with all the relevant information and advising them with ways to deal with it from perspective of both, a victim and someone who witnessed the abuse.
Commenting on the campaign and collaboration, Mr. Deepak Lamba, CEO of Worldwide Media said, “In grave times like these, when staying home is advocated to be the safest, seldom do we realise that it may not be the ‘safest’ for some. These unprecedented times have elicited staggering, rampant cases of domestic violence. Femina, is synonymous with what Indian women stand for and against, believe in, and support. With the launch of this campaign we strongly condemn this heinous act. Alongside UN representatives and our NGO partners, we hope to make this campaign a people’s movement that leads the change we want to see around us.”
Ruchika Mehta, Editor, Femina said, ”We, at Femina, staying true to our philosophy of being a woman’s best friend, have decided to take a strong stand against the prevalence of domestic abuse. For months now we have discussed the severity of the issue with our partners to carefully design a sensitive approach to raise awareness and navigate our audience, and any witnesses to identify and take action against domestic abuse. We are grateful to our friends in the film industry who have supported this initiative by coming forth and being part of this campaign.”
Nishtha Satyam, Deputy Country Representative and Officer in Charge, UN Women said, “In a world, where every third woman has experienced physical or sexual violence, mostly by an intimate partner, normalising abuse must stop. A life free from violence and the fear of violence is a pre-condition to well-being. World over, including in India, the Shadow Pandemic of domestic violence continues to deeply impact all women and girls. This pandemic must end.The change must begin from our homes and we all have a role to play. Its upon us to break this cycle of violence and prevent the generational transfer that often perpetuates abuse at home. UN Women stands together with Femina in the campaign #Actagainstabuse.”
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Prasoon Joshi said, “The pandemic changed a lot of things for us. As a nation and a society, as we dealt with the adversity, but in a larger sense we also saw so many positives in human spirit, in the environment, in collective action. Unfortunately, the evil of domestic violence saw an upward spike through the pandemic with families confined at home. And what was our response as a society? It’s heart-breaking to say, but in most cases apathy. Apathy that leads us to ignore it, pretend it does not exist, condone it, and sometimes even justify it. And makes us, society at large, as much a party to the crime as the perpetrator. It’s important for communication around this issue to go beyond information dissemination. It is important to jolt society out of its collective apathy. To mobilize society to Ignore No More.”
Link to the video:
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Domestic violence is real. In India, one-third of women experience domestic violence and the pandemic has seen a drastic rise in cases. 86% of women in India who were subjected to domestic violence never sought help. 77% kept quiet about it. It’s time to speak up and break the silence against domestic violence. It’s time to #ActAgainstAbuse – an initiative by Femina in association with #UNWomen and @timesnetwork. Report domestic violence when you see it or hear it – Call 181 or WhatsApp 7217735372 To read more about Femina's #ActAgainstAbuse initiative, tap the link in bio. . . . @azmishabana18 @radhikaofficial @aslisona @taapsee @aditiraohydari Special thanks to Prasoon Joshi for penning this powerful poem. #ActAgainstAbuse #FeminaIndia