How Much More Must Survivors Do? Feminist Groups & Individuals Stand In Solidarity With #MeToo In The Media & Film Industries

It’s almost a year now since the #MeToo hashtag broke through whisper networks on sexual harassment and initiated a worldwide movement. While the initial exposés were instances of assault and misogyny by men in high places in Hollywood, subsequent revelations have come in waves from women across the world in various kinds of workplaces – from academia to activism to film and media. These are narratives of women speaking truth to power about the violence and transgressions they have been subjected to by male colleagues and seniors, as well the complicit actions/inactions of institutions and individuals. The power of this moment lies not just in the individual narratives that are being shared, but in the public discourse that is being created. An open challenge to the pervasiveness of a culture that allows men to harass women, intimidate and exploit them, with impunity.

As feminist groups and individuals, we stand in support of the numerous women in India who have spoken out with courage and candour. Over the decades, these battles have taken many forms within workplaces, on the streets, in the courts, etc., as well as #LoSHA (List of Sexual Harassers in Academia) almost a year ago. Today, we also stand in solidarity with women in media and the film industry who have been exposing the systematic abuse of power by well established editors, reporters, co-actors, colleagues, and their political partners, as well as the deeply normalised misogyny of the newsroom and studios.

It is disturbing, though not surprising, that many among these women who tried to raise these issues within the organisation, were neither believed nor supported, and some even brazenly dismissed. Despite women’s movements’ campaigns and subsequent legal reforms to put redressal mechanisms in place at workplaces, many institutions of ‘repute’ today stand exposed for not even having functional complaints mechanisms. It is not sufficient for them to only now ‘take action’ or ‘sideline’ the accused. It is imperative that sexism and misogyny at the workplace be brought to an end. While there is an urgent need to put the redressal mechanisms in place at every workplace, it is equally important that survivors and complainants are actively supported in their quest for justice. Institutions cannot continue to stand in the way of the law, until survivors are compelled to go public. Time and time again. Industry by industry. Institution by institution.

We need to consider at what emotional, personal, professional cost each survivor speaks out. Is this the only way in which workspaces can be made safe for women? Is the fight for justice only women’s burden to bear? How much more work must we all do before workplaces begin to implement the law, in letter and in spirit, and the powers-that-be finally acknowledge this epidemic of sexual harassment?

We believe that these difficult questions also offer an opportunity for all of us, survivors and activists (and many, too many of us are both) to get together and forge new alliances. To create safe spaces for the sharing of such experiences, the reviewing of older strategies and the evolution of newer ones. To take our shared struggles forward so that women may speak out and be believed. To collectively evolve codes of behaviour for interpersonal interactions between genders, both within the workplace and outside. So we can all begin to live and work in an environment where such male entitlement can no longer flourish.

Hence we are sharing coordinates of some activists/groups who are willing and waiting to meet/speak/email/FB/DM to start these new conversations, singly, collectively or who knows, even as hundreds of women taking over a public space to address what is clearly not a personal problem, but a political one!

Because for every woman who has spoken out about such violence, there are likely tens of thousands of others, especially in the unorganised sector and semi-formal workspaces, who are yet to find an avenue to speak out. And despite the rhetoric of Beti Bachao, we still live in a world where just a few days ago, 34 minor girls were beaten up by a mob when they opposed sexual advances of the men from a nearby village in Supaul district, Bihar.

There is much to be done. And the only way for us to do it, is together.

No. ORGANISATIONAL AND INDIVIDUAL ENDORSEMENTS CONTACT SUPPORT OFFERED
1. Feminism In India info@feminisminindia.com A platform for survivors to share their stories
2. SAHELI Women’s Resource Centre, New Delhi saheliwomen@gmail.com

011-24616485 (Saturdays only)

A Delhi based feminist collective.
3. LABIA – A Queer Feminist LBT Collective, Mumbai stree.sangam@gmail.com
4. Nazariya – QFRG nazariya.qfrg@gmail.com
5. All India Progressive Women’s Association AIPWA aipwa@yahoo.co.in
6. Anuradha Kapoor, SWAYAM, Kolkata swayam@cal.vsnl.net.in
7. Shubhangi, ASSOCIATION FOR ADVOCACY AND LEGAL INITIATIVES (AALI) aali@aalilegal.org

Facebook – @aalilegal

Phone – +91 8005499927 (available on whatsapp);

+91-9161454706

8. HAQ: Centre For Child Rights, New Delhi 1) Bharti Ali –bharti@haqcrc.org

2) Enakshi Ganguly – enakshi@haqcrc.org

9. YWCA, Vinodhini Moses, National General Secretary, YWCA of India 10, Sansad Marg, New Delhi

Tel# 11-23340294, 23345235

Email: ngs@ywcaindia.org; headoffice@ywcaindia.org

10. SEWA, Nalini Nayak, Trivandrum 0471.2476734
11. NEW TRADE UNION INITIATIVE, Gautam Mody, General Secretary secretariat@ntui.org.in

B-137 FF Dayanand Colony, Lajpat Nagar IV, New Delhi

Tel: +91 11 26486931, 26214538

12. Anchita Ghatak, Kolkata anchita.ghatak@gmail.com
13. Anubha Rastogi, Advocate, Mumbai anubha.rastogi@gmail.com 

+919820527453

14. Ena Panda, Assistant Professor, Department of Germanic and Romance Studies, University of Delhi enarish.jnu@gmail.com,

G7, Dwaraka Trendz, Vinayak Nagar Colony, Hyderabad, Telengana, 500032

Tel: 9971933714

Would like to extend my support to anybody who needs it in form of counselling, etc.
15. Kavita Panjabi, Kolkata kavitapanjabi@gmail.com
16. Madhur Bhartiya madhurbharatiya@gmail.com

9871234212

I can offer legal assistance.
17. Manjima Bhattacharya, Mumbai manjimab@gmail.com
18. Nandini Rao, New Delhi nandini014@gmail.com
19. Nirupama Sarathy, Chennai nirupama.sarathy@gmail.com I have been in NGOs that work on gender and women’s rights but do not personally have experience in counselling or in supporting survivors of violations. But am available to provide an empathetic, non judgmental, safe listening space to anybody who feels the need.

I will also be happy to connect them with support agencies. I am located in Chennai, but am well connected with groups in Delhi and Odisha as well, and can understand English, Hindi, Tamil and Kannada.

20. Rakhi Sehgal, Delhi rakhi.sehgal@gmail.com
21. Seema Baquer, Delhi 9899746545 I work in the disability sector, so can offer any help needed in this area
22. Vijay Rukmini Rao vijayrukminirao@gmail.com

9440860271

I have been supporting the women cine artists in the Telugu film industry. I will be available for any other support.
OTHER ENDORSEMENTS
A Mangai, theatre activist and writer, Chennai 
2. Aarthi Pai, Lawyer, Bangalore
3. Abha Bhaiya, Feminist Activist, Dharamshala
4. Anita Ghai, Prof, School Of Human Studies, Ambedkar University Delhi
5. Adv Mini Mathew
6. Amita Pitre, Consultant, Public Health & Gender Justice
7. Amrita Nandy
8. Ankita Pandey, Assistant Professor, Indraprastha College for Women. University Of Delhi
9. Anupama Potluri, Assistant Professor, Univ. of Hyderabad
10. Anuradha
11. Arundhati Dhuru, NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF PEOPLES’ MOVEMENTS (NAPM)
12. BAILANCHO SAAD, Sabina Martins, Goa
13. Bidyut Mohanty, Head, Women Studies, Institute Of Social Sciences, New Delhi
14. Bindhulakshmi Pattadath, Associate Professor, Advanced Centre For Women’s Studies, Tata Institute Of Social Sciences, Mumbai
15. Bindu Menon, Delhi University
16. Bittu Karthik, WSS – WOMEN AGAINST SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND STATE REPRESSION
17. Deepa
18. Dhiviya D
19. Divya Kapoor, Panjab University, Chandigarh
20. Dr Charulatha  Banerjee
21. Dr. Chitra Sinha, Centre For Gender Research, Uppsala University, Sweden
22. Dr. Indira Hirway, Director And Professor of Economics, Center for Development Alternatives, Ahmedabad
23. Dr. Jyotsna Chatterji, Director & Secretary,

JOINT WOMEN’S PROGRAMME

24. Dyuti, Socio-Legal Researcher, Activist
25. Farah Naqvi, Writer & Activist, New Delhi
26. FORUM AGAINST OPPRESSION OF WOMEN, Bombay
27. Gabriele Dietrich
28. Helam Haoki, Manipur
29. Hemangi Joshi
30. JAGORI, Geetha Nambisan
31. Janaki Abraham, Delhi University
32. Janaki Srinivasan, Panjab University
33. Japleen Pasricha, Feminism In India
34. Jaya Sagade
35. Kalpana Kannabiran, CSD,Hyderabad
36. Kalpana Viswanath
37. Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Feminist and Human Rights’ Activist, Mumbai
38. Karuna D W, Chennai
39. Kavita Krishnan, AIPWA
40. Kavita Srivastava, Jaipur
41. Kavya Murthy
42. Lata Singh
43. Laxmi Murthy, Journalist, Bangalore
44. MAATI, Malika Virdi, Uttarakhand
45. Manisha Gupte
46. Manshi Asher, Himachal Pradesh
47. Mary John, CWDS
48. Meena Seshu
49. Meera Sanghamitra, NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF PEOPLE’S MOVEMENTS (NAPM) and WSS
50. Mini Mathew
51. Mirai Chatterjee
52. Mohan Rao, Delhi
53. Mumtaz Shaikh, CORO INDIA
54. Nalini Visvanathan
55. Nandita Gandhi, Co-Director, AKSHARA, Mumbai
56. Nandita Shah, Co-Director, AKSHARA, Mumbai
57. Neha Dixit, Journalist, Delhi
58. Nikita Sonavane
59. Nisha Biswas
60. Niti Saxena
61. NoMore Campaign
62. Noor Enayat, Delhi
63. Padmaja Shaw
64. Pallavi Gupta
65. Ponni Arasu, Researcher And Activist
66. Poonam Muttreja, POPULATION FOUNDATION OF INDIA (PFI)
67. Poulomi Pal, Researcher, New Delhi
68. Prabha Nagaraja
69. Pramada Menon, Gurgaon
70. Priya Pillai, Social Environmental Activist, New Delhi
71. Pushpa Achanta, Bangalore
72. Pyoli Swatija, Advocate, Delhi
73. Radhika Chitkara, Independent Legal Researcher, Delhi
74. Radhika Desai, Hyderabad
75. Radhika Khajuria, Delhi
76. Rajashri Dasgupta, SACHETANA, Kolkata
77. Rajesh Ramakrishnan
78. Rajshree Bedamatta, Indian Institute Of Technology, Guwahati
79. Rama Srinivasan
80. Ravi Verma and Subhalakshmi Nandi, INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR RESEARCH ON WOMEN (ICRW), Asia Office
81. Renu, STREE MUKTI SANGTHAN, Delhi
82. Rinchin, WSS – WOMEN AGAINST SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND STATE REPRESSION
83. Rita Manchanda, Delhi
84. Ritu Dewan
85. Rituparna Borah, Queer Feminist Activist, Delhi
86. Runu Chakraborty
87. Sagari R. Ramdas, Veterinary Scientist
88. Sarojini N., New Delhi
89. Saswati Ghosh, Academic And Activist, Kolkata
90. Shakun M Doundiyakhed, Bangalore
91. Shalini
92. Shalini Krishnan, Delhi
93. Sharanya Nayak, Koraput
94. Sharmila Sreekumar, IIT Bombay
95. Sheba George
96. Shipra Nigam, Independent Researcher And Activist, New Delhi
97. Shobha Raghavan, Human Rights Activist, Bangalore
98. Shweta Vachani, Delhi
99. Snehal M Shah
100. Sohini Bhattacharya, President & CEO, BREAKTHROUGH
101. Sona Mitra, Activist And Independent Researcher, New Delhi
102. Sujata Madhok, Journalist, Delhi
103. Sumi Krishna
104. Suneeta Dhar, New Delhi
105. Sunita Sheel, FORUM FOR MEDICAL ETHICS SOCIETY, Mumbai; VIDHAYAK TRUST, Pune
106. Svati Joshi
107. The Food Sovereignty Alliance India
108. Ujwala Kadrekar
109. Uma V. Chandru, Bangalore
110. Urvashi Butalia
111. Vahida Nainar, Mumbai
112. Vimochana, Bangalore
113. Zubaan Books, New Delhi

If you or your organisation would like to endorse this statement, please write your name and/or your organisation’s name in the comments below.

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