Twitter has become a platform for social change in India, where thousands are posting a #SelfieWithDaughter to fight back against a social stigma that puts a boot to the face of unborn fetuses whose only injustice is failing to grow a dick inside the womb.
Female feticide—the selective abortion of female babies—is the result of discriminatory social perspectives against women, that in practice, is responsible for over one million female fetus deaths per year. Though aborting a baby due to undesired sexual orientation is illegal in India, in the country’s most affected states the ratio of females to males drops as low as 857:1000, as is the case in Haryana, India.
A record of unfair, and sometimes malicious treatment of women has lead Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to found the #SelfieWithDaughter Twitter campaign, in which proud Indian parents post pictures of themselves with their daughters.
— Filiberto Gonzalez (@gofiliberto) June 28, 2015
Modi’s idea for the campaign was influenced by an initiative sparked by parents in Bibipur village, Haryana, where selfies with daughters circulated the popular social application, WhatsApp. The campaign has gained widespread attention, as daughters too across the nation are posting selfies with their parents to proliferate awareness.
Modi has put a political precedence on women’s rights in the country since his inauguration in 2014, making accusations against lawmakers for “playing with the dignity of women,” and stating in his first speech to parliament, “[that] Governments will have to work strictly against this, else our own souls will not forgive us,” according to The Guardian.
— Rubika Liyaquat (@RubikaLiyaquat) June 28, 2015
This recent initiative is a save-face moment for the Prime Minister, who recently caught flack for a hopefully unintentional backhanded compliment for Bangladeshi Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, where she is praised for a zero tolerance policy on terrorism, “despite being a woman.” Though #despitebeingawoman has since become its own Twitter phenomenon, Modi has continued to make strides towards female empowerment, encouraging Indian men to take advantage of new Social Security Schemes to gift insurance policies to women in light of the upcoming Raksha Bandhan festival, “dedicated to sisters and mothers.”
Though it may seem little more than a social media trend, in terms of creating awareness, #SelfieWithDaughter is a step in the right direction for capping an oppression that grows from the very roots of society, which is to say, silencing those who’ve yet to even form the vocal cords necessary to speak back.
#SelfieWithDaughter #Caramel #Frappe A photo posted by brazesh (@brazesh) on
— Neil Haslam (@neilhaslam90) July 2, 2015
— Orlando Jones (@TheOrlandoJones) June 30, 2015
— Abhishek R Mishra (@aabhishek12) July 3, 2015