Twitter empowers women in India to voice their #PositionOfStrength

By Mahima Kaul
Friday, 26 February 2016

For the first time in Asia, we’re launching a women’s empowerment initiative called #PositionOfStrength across India to help bridge the gender equality gap online. Women make up only 29 percent of 375 million Internet users in the country, and even fewer are on social media platforms (Source: Statista). Together with Observer Research Foundation (@orfonline) and FICCI Ladies Organization (@FICCIFLO), and other partners, we seek to engage with and empower more women in India to find their voices online, communicate safely with confidence, and network with other like-minded women and the global community.

As part of the #PositionOfStrength movement, we and our partners will host a series of roundtables and workshops with women leaders to explore increased empowerment and safety for women, both online and in the physical world, throughout the year.

The first of the roundtables took place today — with over 20 influencers such as Kiran Bedi (@kiranbedi), Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19), Anjum Chopra (@chopraanjum), Sowmya Rao (@sowmyarao_), Sairee Chahal (@Sairee), and Chavvi Rajawat (@villagesoda) — who offered their perspectives on using Twitter as a #ForceForGood in society. They shared how the platform has helped them find a voice, connect with people across the country and world, and view the instant feedback they receive as constructive criticism that has helped them grow. They spoke from a #PositionOfStrength and agreed that the response to abuse and trolling can change when more women come on the platform, express themselves fearlessly, and continue to have a strong voice and counter narrative in important social discussions.

In addition, we also co-hosted a workshop today with about 50 women from 20 universities and colleges — the next generation coming up — to show them how Twitter can provide a public voice and help them develop a personal brand as well as serve as a live, public conversation platform to advocate change in society.

As part of supporting women on the platform, Twitter users in India now have access to a safer online environment through the Twitter Safety Center, which is now available in Hindi.

Twitter empowers women in India to voice their #PositionOfStrength

Patricia Cartes, our Head of Global Trust and Safety Outreach came to India for the launch of the #PositionOfStrength movement. As she notes, “We have introduced measures to empower people with tools to mute, block and report abusive behaviour. And it is critical that we engage with and educate women everywhere to use the platform safely and with confidence. For the first time in Asia, we’re pleased to bring #PositionOfStrength to India, as well as launch Twitter’s Safety Center in Hindi, as we are committed to increasing our safety efforts and rolling out this social movement with our partners across this important market.” 

it is critical that we engage with and educate women everywhere to use the platform safely and with confidence

Patricia Cartes
Head of Global Trust and Safety Outreach

We have heard from many women influencers on Twitter who actively use it to drive awareness about topics like the gender pay gap, childcare, domestic violence, healthcare and flexible work.

“Technology is neutral, but initiatives like #PositionOfStrength help align them with progressive values,” says Arun Mohan Sukumar, Head, Cyber Initiative, Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi. “Bringing gender equality into vibrant digital spaces is one of the most important policy questions of our time. In offering a sustainable, creative and effective platform for women to realise this goal, Twitter and #PositionOfStrength have a natural partner in the Observer Research Foundation.”

“(The) Digital world is a huge enabler, it has the potential to remove barriers, biases, overcome mobility restrictions, security, and time limitations. It has given voice to people; created new channels of opportunity to work and do business, and is using data to ensure that gender equality is the beneficiary of technological advances. Digital savviness is an essential skill for the 21st century workplace. We are pleased to partner Twitter on #PositionOfStrength, a women empowerment initiative, that will help more women in India build their presence online and improve their digital quotient. FICCI FLO is all about women empowerment and we look forward to further this initiative with Twitter on International Women’s Day,” says Archana Garodia Gupta, President, FICCI Ladies Organization.

As a #PositionOfStrength partner, Observer Research Foundation aims to further the youth engagement by taking the campaign to 20 universities and colleges in Delhi to participate in a university contest on women empowerment. The purpose of the competition is to raise awareness among the youth about the importance of women empowerment in society and share ideas on how to make it happen.

Female student leaders will represent their colleges in the competition and encourage their college communities to Tweet their ideas, suggestions and comments according to weekly themes aligned with the #PositionOfStrength movement. The most engaging Tweets from the competition will be compiled into a Top 100 Tweets digital book that will be presented to a senior government official in Delhi to ensure their #PositionOfStrength voices are heard. The university competition will start in Delhi and be brought to other universities as the #PositionOfStrength campaign is launched in more cities across the country.

Participate in the conversation with #PositionOfStrength on Twitter.