- Bollywood is not known for promoting women’s rights or empowerment – its known more for its item songs and the objectification of women. However Bollywood has tried to redeem itself by making women oriented films have recently. These have done their bit to further the cause of women’s rights in their own ways: Mary Kom tells the story of India’s top boxer, her journey against all odds and the kind of support she got from her family, most importantly her husband. Dawat e Ishq may be principally a love story but it has a strong anti-dowry message.
- MARD (Men Against Rape and Discrimination) is a social initiative intended to increase awareness and to encourage gender equality and respect towards women. The initiative’s official video is the song Chhulein Aasmam (reach for the sky) featuring Farhan Akhtar and Salim-Sulaiman. Scroll below to hear Akhtar’s voice singing about the platitudes women are typically made to hear as their rights and dreams are squashed.
- Priyanka Chopra has lent support to the MARD initiative, where she tells women that the power to change lies in their own hands. Anushka Sharma also lends her support and calls for a more balanced future that helps women progress.
- One of the most vocal supporters of women’s rights, Kalki Kochelin had been a part of the satirical video that went viral last year – Its Your Fault! The video featuring Kochelin and Juhi Pandey highlights how every sexual assault is always made out to be woman’s fault and how it is the rape survivor who is always shamed and made to feel somehow guilty of a crime that is perpetrated against them. (Source – Sarcastically Yours)
- The recent Shweta Basu Prasad sex scandal also had several actors come out in support of the starlet. Her previous co-star on TV, Shakshi Tanwar came out in support of the former child actress as did Deepika Padukone who said that rather than offering criticism, people should be coming forward to help.
- Recently the Kerala government made actress Asin the face of their Women’s Empowerment programme. The actress was previously the recipient of youth icon awards for promoting girl’s education. (Source – MattersIndia.com)
- Rani Mukherji is another Bollywood diva who has done her bit for women’s empowerment with her unique initiative to change Indian mindsets. She launched the ‘I Am Shakti’ campaign and voiced the view that in coming times, it should be men who tie rakhis to women. She champions women learning self defence techniques to protect themselves so that they don’t need men to do this for them. (Source – India Today)
- Mega star Amitabh Bachchan has also recently been in the news for voicing his support of Farhan Akhtar’s MARD idea and video. Previously as well, he has come out in support of female education and has opined that “True equality can only exist if the whole society embraces it.” (Source – Deccan Chronicle)
Image Source – The Real MARD Facebook page
Video Courtesy – Mard official YouTube channel