2020 has been difficult, tumultuous, and challenging in several aspects. As the year draws to an end, it is important to reflect on the wins we could celebrate when all hope seemed to dwindle, and begin 2021 with a renewed sense of pride!
Below is an infographic and a short note on FII’s 2020 in review.
We started the year with our continued coverage of the anti-CAA and NRC protests across the country, and talked about instances of police brutality on college campuses. Understanding the importance of unlearning and relearning, this year we introduced our community to our #FIIUnlearns series, where we dissect ideas—whether internalised due to years of oppression, or whether something we refuse to let go—that we need to unlearn. Similarly, for us to make everyday feminism more accessible, we brought in the #FIIExplains series, a space where we deal with foundational concepts and ideologies associated with feminism and break them down in an accessible manner.
Campaigns and Collaborations
In the beginning of the year, FII held a contest through which we crowdsourced illustrations of women with agency, resisting gender-based violence. Recognising that most platforms used pictures depicting women in a victim’s light, without putting onus on the perpetrator, FII made these new empowering images open access, and several platforms followed our footsteps and used them in their reportage.
FII Founder-CEO and Campaign Manager, Japleen Pasricha and Asmita Ghosh, visited Geneva for a collaboration with World YWCA. Through this collaboration, FII produced a thoroughly researched #MyBodyMyMind toolkit which serves as a guide to young women for sexual and reproductive health rights and mental health.
In March, FII partnered with Partners for Law in Development (PLD) to work on a campaign called #AdolescentSexuality. Based on the research reports written by PLD, our poster series aimed to make these findings accessible and concise so that a wider audience can understand the magnitude of the problem that is the criminalisation of adolescent sexuality by the state. This campaign covered several topics from consent, sexual expression, adolescents’ agency, sexual abuse, underage marriages, and laws which, although aiming for protection of young people, can often be counterproductive.
While we may have been forced to stay at home due to the pandemic, FII was thankful to have the opportunity to collaborate with organisations working on important rights-based issues and to amplify their work. This past year, we collaborated with Orinam, a Chennai based support collective of LGBTIQIA+ people and allies, on the Transgender International Rights and Education Day, we take a look at the problems with the revised draft Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020. For the World Day of Indigenous Peoples, we collaborated with Adivasi Lives Matter, a platform to mentor Adivasi youth at grassroots to share their stories to take a look at how the draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification 2020 will especially harm Adivasi, tribal, and forest dwelling communities in India.
FII also carried out a Hindi campaign called #AbBolnaHoga which covered both online and offline gender-based violence. We also carried out a Hindi partnership with HowToUse, which busted some myths about abortion and the stigma attached to it.
Beyond documenting and amplifying these important feminist issues, we also worked on many awareness and advocacy campaigns. We worked on campaigns such as the #MyBodyMyMethod campaign awareness and advocacy campaign on contraception throughout the month of September with Find My Method, an organisation that works to provide accurate contraceptive information for a global audience.
We also collaborated with Intersex Human Rights India (IHRI) on Intersex Awareness Day and Intersex Day of Remembrance to highlight what it means to be intersex in India and how we can continue to support intersex people in the fight for their rights. Towards the end of year, we collaborated with National Network of Sex Workers India (NNSW-India) on the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers to talk about the invisible violence that all sex workers face – the violence of not being heard.
For the #16DaysOfActivism, i.e., November 25 – December 10, we collaborated with Equality Now and Swabhiman Society to disseminate the crucial findings and recommendations of their important report ‘Justice Denied: Sexual Violence and Intersectional Discrimination, Barriers to Accessing Justice for Dalit Women and Girls in Haryana’, and amplify Haryana’s Dalit women’s call to end caste-based sexual violence. Apart from them we also worked with TATA Power, Proactive For Her, Veera Health, Katha, and The Bastion.
As our team expanded from 5 to 9 core team members this year, FII substantially increased the amount of nuanced feminist content it creates. We segmented our existing videos into the following series:
- FII Explains
- FII Reports
- FII from Ground Zero
- Indian Women in History
- Let’s Talk About
- Health Stop
- Culture Stop
- Weekly Feminist News Wrap
Some of our best work from the videos produced this year included the on-ground report of the #DilliChalo farmers’ protest, our explainer on Internalised Misogyny, as well as videos made in collaboration with organisations such as Find My Method, Equality Now, Proactive For Her, Revival Disability Magazine, and Rising Flame. In 2020, FII published over a 100 videos across both Hindi and English channels!
This year, we also launched out very first podcast, ‘Intersectional Feminism—Desi Style!‘, wherein our hosts Nishtha Shanti and Pragya Roy cover a range of everyday topics with an intersectional spin, highlighting the nuance and differences in experience that comes with caste, class, disability, mental health, and more! We have put out 7 episodes in 2020, having insightful conversations with esteemed guests like Nidhi Goyal, Manak Matiyani, Supriya Joshi, among others. We look forward to continuing and completing the season in 2021!
This year as the pandemic hit the world, FII too transitioned to remote work. We are grateful for this successful transition which helped us continue our work as usual, and even grow our team during this difficult time.
FII also won two awards for empowering stories in the Laadli Media and Advertising Awards for Gender Sensitivity in 2020! We are really proud of our writers for their achievement.
The FII community grew substantially, with now voer 4700 subscribers on YouTube, 800,000 hits per month on our website, over 86,000 followers on Facebook, 45,000 followers on Twitter and over 121,000 followers on Instagram! We are warmed and encouraged by the support the FII family consistently shows us.
Finally, one of our important new initiatives was launching the FII Jobs & Opportunities Board! Recognising the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic made job-hunting not only difficult but also necessary for many people, we created this board so that the process can be easier and more targeted for people looking for jobs in the development and social work sector.
We are excited for the new beginning and hope that 2021 will bring. We hope you will continue to support us as you have through this tough year, so we can all be a step closer to smashing the patriarchy.