Tune into any news about India these days and the majority of it is about rape or violence toward women somehow. It’s really sad, shocking and frustrating. These incidences started getting more recognition when the rape of a young woman on a bus by a group of Indian men made headlines around the world early in 2013.
To anyone outside India, it seems these incidences have been happening quite frequently lately, but that’s actually not the case. The truth of the matter is that these violent, abusive cases have been going on for years, even decades, and it’s only recently that the international media is giving the cases a front and center platform.
Both men and women from the subcontinent are speaking out, staging protests, and forcing the country’s justice system to act in a way that avenges these victims. Even some prominent Bollywood stars are using their influential voices to speak out to help these women!
An organization in India called ‘Save The Children‘ has just launched an important and very confronting campaign, in an effort to bring more awareness to its fellow countrymen and women. The non-profit was started in 1988 and works toward the empowerment of women and children through education, health, and vocational training.
Their latest project is called ‘Save Our Sisters’ which has a specific focus on preventing sex trafficking of young women and children. After the rescue women, they also help them assimilate back into normal life by giving them job training, education and counseling. The most awesome part of this project are the campaigns posters they released to draw attention to this horrific epidemic.
The campaigns feature models dressed up as famous Indian Goddesses such as Durga, the goddess of strength and invincibility, Lakshmi the goddess of wealth, and Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, music, arts & sciences.
The agency Taproot painted bruises, cuts and wounds to the women dressed up to portray a juxtaposed image of an esteemed woman who is abused. The slogan on each poster says “Pray that we never see this day. Today more than 68% of women in India are victims of domestic violence. Tomorrow, it seems like no woman shall be spared. Not even the ones we pray to.”
In 2012, over 200 000 crimes against women were reported in the country. That may seem like a high number, but just imagine the number of UNreported crimes.
This campaign is very similar in theme to the domestic abuse awareness campaign started by the King Khalid Foundation in Saudi Arabia, which featured women dressed in Burka’s with bruises and black eyes painted on them.
Seeing campaigns like this means a step in the right direction, and certainly empowers women in otherwise oppressive regions to be able to speak up about an injustice and not be turned away. It makes us thankful for mainstream digital media which can make a news story go instantly viral, allowing us to jump into action to help our fellow humans.
Here are the full posters below. For more information, visit the website for the Save Our Sisters campaign.