We The Women - a unique, participatory, one of its kind festival, created and curated by BarkhaDutt for Facebook & UN Women kickstarted at Hotel The Lalit Ashok.
A unique one-day festival - themed on #openingdoors and #breakingbarriers–brought together a diverse group of exemplary men and women from all walks of life.A star-studded stage seen people like Actor Sonam K Ahuja, Shweta Bachchan Nanda, Actor Tanushree Dutta, Actor TaapseePannu, Actor Vicky Kaushal, cricketer Mithali Raj, Saxophone Subbalaxmi, Debjani Ghosh from NASSCOM, 102-year-old athlete Sardarni Man Kaur, India’s First Female Ghatam Artiste SukkanyaRamgopal, Keshav Suri, Rohini Nilekani, Raghu Karnad, Pooja Shetty, Anuja Chauhan, The Women of INSV Tarini and Shabnam Virmani amongst others.
Reflecting larger global and national conversations, We the Women forum exchanged dialogues and emphasized the issues likethe fight of women against the religious orthodoxy whether in ending Triple Talaq or demanding the right to enter Sabarimala; the battle by Bohri women to end Female Genital Cutting; the new currents and shifts in popular culture and cinema; the challenges and struggles of Trans-Women; Life after the end of Section 377 and the trials and achievements of women in uniform.
Expressing her views, Award-Winning Journalist BarkhaDutt said, “WeThe Women, in its own words, is a participatory, open-to-all, forum that aims to build an annual space that brings an unfettered expression, great conversation, forging bonds, mentoring and networking and ultimately a wide community of friends”.
Actor Sonam K Ahuja in conversation on whether cinema has finally found its female voice said, “so many women do not report cases of sexual harassment at the workplace or their experiences of sexual violence because they know that reporting is not only the means to relive the trauma. While it is great that women are speaking up, it is also showing us how hard it is to actually break that silence. The industry is stepping out to support women voice and it’s going to take some time to create a universe where all voices will be treated equally.”
Talking about her new upcoming film The Zoya Factor and what she wants young people to know, she said, “I really likes the character I am playing in the film. Like all young girls, I have also struggled with myself and I relate to it. A role that I played in the film Khoobsurat knew herself, but my character in The Zoya Factor begins to understand who she is only after meeting Nikhil. I worked very closely with the director to develop the character, but I also worked on it alone.”
“Men express their gender identities in a variety of ways. Some believe that “being a man” requires honesty, courage, hard work, and competence. Others express masculinity through physical prowess, toughness, and daring”, said actor Vishal Kaushal.