Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and we encourage voices across the spectrum to share their views. Through #EveryWoman, a campaign that we launched this International Women’s Day, we wanted to shine a spotlight on every woman's voice and the importance of intersectionality.
Intersectionality becomes a strength when a woman supports another woman regardless of her/their ethnicity, sexuality, religion, class, or ability. Globally, 125 million Tweets about feminism and equality have been recorded over the past three years. These conversations see a spike during International Women’s Day, on and immediately surrounding March 8. In India, we have also seen many examples of this powerful phenomena, and the top five hashtags on women-related conversations in India (from 2017 till now) stand testament to this. These include: #MeToo/#MeTooIndia, #SareeTwitter, #GirlsWhoDrinkBeer, #LahuKaLagaan and #JhumkaTwitter.
Every day several women Tweet to make a positive impact in their communities and the world at large. We spoke to five such awe-inspiring women - Chinmayi Sripaada, Dutee Chand, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Shereen Bhan and late Sushma Swaraj/(her daughter, Bansuri Swaraj, spoke on her behalf) - to find out what it is to be a woman in today’s India and why they Tweet.
1) #VoiceOfChange: Chinmayi Sripaada
Chinmayi Sripaada uses her voice for more than beautiful music. She Tweets for #EveryWoman.
“Twitter is the mic that marginalised sections of society never had before. The platform has given the ability to women to use their words, advocate for themselves and speak up about the issues that are important to them. I feel glad to be recognised as a #VoiceOfChange by the platform, as it means I am using my voice well, to influence positive change and encouraging other women to voice their thoughts and perspectives too.”
2) #RecordBreaker: Dutee Chand
Dutee Chand Tweets boldly about the challenges of being an elite athlete. She Tweets for #EveryWoman.
“My well-wishers in India and across the world have given me the motivation and strength over the years to be unapologetically who I am. It gives me happiness to be able to connect with my fans and friends, and let them know exactly how hard I have been working. I hope more Indian women use Twitter to speak up for themselves and get support from people and authorities across India.”
3) #Catalyst: Kiran Mazumdar Shaw
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw Tweets for women in science and women in the workplace. She Tweets for #EveryWoman.
“It’s a myth to think that women are not bold enough to run daring businesses. It's myths that I think all of us have busted over time.”
4) #TwitterTurk: Shereen Bhan
From big scoops to interviewing Young Turks, Shereen Bhan keeps us plugged into the fast-paced world of business news. She Tweets for #EveryWoman.
“For me Twitter is about making connections for information and with people. It’s a great way to be able to tell your story and to reach out to people whom you may otherwise not be able to reach out to through the channel.”
5) #TwitterDiplomat: Late Sushma Swaraj
Late Sushma Swaraj was a fierce advocate for using Twitter for governance, connecting with Indians across the world. She Tweeted for #EveryWoman. Her daughter, Bansuri Swaraj, an advocate at the Supreme Court of India sat with us to tell us what was special about her beloved mother.
“Twitter has ensured that the government of the day across countries has now become more accountable and there’s a lot of power to the people to put their point of view across to their leaders directly.” - Bansuri Swaraj, daughter of Late Sushma Swaraj