The Woman Up Summit, held from 1-3 December 2017 at Jaipur, aimed to start a discussion around women in the workforce, with the final goal of getting companies to pledge to add more women to their workforce. The conference had myriad themes, seeking inclusivity through performances, intimate discussions with industry stalwarts, and fiery talks by women that have succeeded in their professional careers.
— Feminism in India (@FeminismInIndia) December 2, 2017
FII’s Digital Editor Asmita Ghosh was a speaker at the Woman Up Summit. She spoke about feminist subcultures on the internet and how women are reclaiming the online space from patriarchal and sexist forces that seek to silence, abuse and censor women’s voices on the internet.
One such example was her video ‘Be Our Pondati‘, that garnered more than a million views since its publication last year, which bared open the heavy expectations and double standards placed on women in the ‘marriage market’, with a light and satirical parody of a famous pop song.
She spoke about other women smashing the patriarchy via the internet, like Instagram artist Sarah Naqvi who sews feminist body positive embroidery, and the Facebook page Spoilt Modern Indian Woman that takes on sexist stereotypes and turns them on their head.
She also spoke about FII’s own work in combatting sexism on the internet, with its campaign for online safety #DigitalHifazat, our #YesAllWomen campaign that sought to reclaim the internet from the #NotAllMen brigade following the Bengaluru mass molestation case on New Year’s Eve 2016, as well as our poster series from last year that sought to reclaim the #NotAllMen tag to use it to talk about feminist issues instead.
The talk sparked an interactive Q&A session afterwards, where audience members shared their experiences online and also discussed how the word feminism has been vilified and misunderstood. Asmita ended the talk with the important reminder to continue to occupy the internet just as one ought to occupy public spaces, in order to assert our voices there, and not allow ourselves to be silenced.