Twenty-one-year-old Ananya Singh from Bhuvaneshwar started an online campaign, #TweakTikTok, which has so far garnered more than 95,000 signatures. The campaign seeks to change social media giant TikTok, a growing platform with over 81 million active users in India, to make it easier to report and monitor abusive content directed at women, especially during the lockdown.
Rukumani (Ruku) Tripathi, a 26-year-old midwife from Nepal, who, together with colleagues at the Midwifery Society of Nepal (MIDSON), helped start a toll-free number for pregnant women unable to reach a health facility during the Covid-19 lockdown. She’s also providing online counselling to women of reproductive age.
Agita Pasaribu, a 27-year-old Indonesian lawyer, whose company uses artificial intelligence to combat cyberbullying and detect early symptoms of mental illness, has launched a new platform that provides free mental health support and legal information to domestic violence victims.
These women are part of the 300 (11 from India) young advocates taking a stand for a more gender equal world.
Women Deliver, a global advocacy group for gender equality and the health and rights of girls and women, recently announced a diverse new class of Women Deliver Young Leaders: 300 young changemakers from 96 countries “who are committed to advancing gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights”.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the world that if we truly want to deliver health, wellbeing, and dignity for all, girls, women, and young people must be at the front and centre in emergency responses, in social and economic recovery efforts, and in how we strengthen our health systems for the long term,” said Katja Iversen, president/CEO of Women Deliver.
Since 2010, Women Deliver’s award-winning Young Leaders Programme has trained, supported, and elevated 700 young advocates who are tackling various challenges facing girls, women, and young people in their communities and countries.
When contacted, Ananya Singh told The Indian Express that in a ‘24/7 online’ world, young girls are faced with an increased risk of digital abuse. They have not been formally trained to deal with internet or digital technology, she said, adding that last year, she started a petition asking the government to teach digital defence techniques to young girls. The Women Deliver programme will help me launch a Safe Intelligent Surfing (SIS) project that can assist young girls to become informed digital citizens, she said.
The Women Deliver Young Leaders Class of 2020 represents young advocates from all over the world, including Nafisa Tasneem, a 26-year-old medical volunteer who trains local leaders in southwestern Bangladesh on health, hygiene, and sanitation for girls and women, as well as girls’ rights.
Working overtime to respond to the pandemic, Nafisa contracted Covid-19, recovered, and became the first woman in Bangladesh to donate her plasma. Women Deliver Young Leader and youth programming consultant Hai Ha Vu Thi, who is based in Vietnam, told The Indian Express via email that it was a pivotal time to speak up, to highlight inequalities, and co-create inclusive solutions.
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