With the publishing of their first post in September, the students at Harvard University initiated the #emBODYindia campaign that would soon achieve global recognition. With recent controversies like Deepika Padukone’s clash with the Times of India, along with the staggering number of rape cases in India dominating headlines, the Indian-American community of Harvard knew they had to stand up against the objectification of women in India.
Their social media project asks for both women and men to take their own pictures that depict their stance against the sexualization of women. Gender inequality is a toxic cycle. This group of students aims to revolutionize the ideas of women in society, not only in India, but all over the world. Women deserve to be treated with respect everywhere. It should not have to be something they fight for because it is a basic human right.
The campaign founders, Disha Verma, Upasna Sharma and Zeenia Framroze, wrote an article titled “MY body, MY choices: emBODYindia” that is featured on their Tumblr page. They were greatly displeased by the objectifying words of the Times of India on Deepika Padukone, this article is a bold and powerful response that combats common misperceptions of women. It makes a compelling statement on the obstacles women face when it comes to safety, rights and equality.
The #emBODYindia campaign encourages everyone to declare how they feel about the treatment of women. Without a doubt, this project has attracted a tremendous amount of attention. Each participant’s picture incorporates its own spirited proclamation and gets us one step closer to dismantling the objectified vision of women that permeates society. I encourage everyone to become a part of this project to help empower the world and fight for women’s rights.
Jill Patel is a high school student living in New Jersey. Besides writing, she has a love for art, coffee (caffeine in general) and exploring new places, whether they be in NJ or in a completely different country. When she is not wandering in search of coffee or new places to visit, Jill is either binge watching TV shows or updating her blog. She hopes that through Brown Girl Magazine, she will be able to reach out and connect with South Asian women from around the world. You can also follow her via Twitter and Instagram.