What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you are asked about the equality between men and women? Many of us are stumped, but some may have a good answer. Well, BollyCurry may not know about you, but we do know that there are numerous B-Town celebs who strongly believe that women should be equivalent to men in all ways and have made numerous efforts to get their voices heard in support of this honorable cause. BollyCurry rushes you through a quick list of celebs who have done much in the effort to turn gender equality into a reality.
The very first in our list is ace actor-cum-director, Farhan Akhtar
. It was a pleasant approach from this actor to begin a campaign titled MARD - Men Against Rape and Discrimination. He has left no stone unturned to promote his campaign which aims to increase gender awareness and greater respect for women amongst men. He once tweeted, "If you are a man who respects women... her rights, her dignity, her independence, her mind, her body, her life... you are a MARD". That's well said Farhan, and like many celebs in Tinsel Town, even we support and appreciate his endless efforts for a positive change.
Next in the list is our charming diva Priyanka Chopra
. Ever since winning the Miss World title, she has been involved in some avenue of social work from the right of children to being the voice for the rights of women. Bringing to light a few of her works, she is the national celebrity who is working on the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Early Marriage and Adolescent girls life skills for the UNICEF. Also, most recently, the actress was made the Brand Ambassador of the campaign "Our Girl: Our Pride" . The joint campaign by Vedanta Group and NDTV was launched on August 19th, 2013 in New Delhi and it addresses key issues like nutrition, education, health, foeticide and infanticide. The focus of the campaign will be to educate people at large, increase awareness, bring policy changes, sensitize people towards the girl child and build a respect for the gender.
UNICEF has various campaigns to improve quality of life for women and the section dealing with gender bias and violence is headed by actress and social activist Nandana Sen
. She is also actively working as the Cause Ambassador for RAHI, India's first organization to break the silence about child sexual abuse. She even collaborates with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) as a Child Rights Expert and Juror for Public Hearings.
One recollects Rani Mukherjee mainly for her chirpy and energetic characters till date, but what most people do not know is that she too has made attempts to utilize her fame and name for a good cause. Alongside her acting career, Mukherjee has been active in several humanitarian causes and is vocal about issues faced by women and children. To add feathers to her hat, she was appointed as an ambassador by NGO Child Rights and You for their joint venture, Shiksha, to endorse the cause of children's education.
Rounding up our list, we have the one and only veteran actress and social activist Shabana Azmi
. Shabana believes the concept of masculinity in our society must change. According to her, we must work towards a society where machismo is not taken as the true characteristic of masculinity, instead, equal respect for girls and women should be regarded as an important component of masculinity. Adding further, she urges for changes in the Indian educational system as it is very important to treat girls and boys as equals in schools. In a patriarchal society, boys are privileged right from the point they are born, which leads to a series of discrimination against the girl child. In the process, she doesn't have equal access to education, nutrition, health, or even have a say in the decision making process regarding her life. This needs to be addressed and school is the right place to start it.
Apart from her own NGOs, Shabana is surely proud with son Farhan Akhtar
's campaign MARD, which has garnered much appreciation. He surely is following her footsteps and helping in her goal to bring about changes in society and mindsets.
We might have missed out many a vital names from this list, but all we can say is that we highly value and respect the time and efforts of our beloved celebs for organizing campaigns and other activities to spread awareness about women equality and rights. The celebs are doing their best and so BollyCurry puts forward a question to our lovely readers - what is your take on this issue and how do you think we can tackle this societal problem?
Author: Siona M.
Editors: Fariha L. & Gunia M.