#challengeaccepted has flooded the social media storm, celebrities like Kim Kardashian uploaded a black and white photo of them. It percolated Indian womxn’s inboxes and soon many started uploading their black and white pictures with #challenge accepted. The intent was to spread womxn empowerment and forward the message to 20 other strong womxn in your life. Until the origins of the hashtag came forward. The real reason for the #challenge accepted was the femicide of womxn in turkey.
The reality of Turkish women
There is an increase of womxn being killed by men. The men are often relatives and spouses. The government is trying to roll back the laws that protect womxn from gender-based violence. A campaign called We Will Stop Femicide is fighting this systemic problem. Their campaign aims to curb this femicide and bring justice to all the victims. The men who are religious and wear smart clothes have gotten their sentences reduced. This is so common that there is a new term for it called ‘tie reduction’.
Rise in femicide during the pandemic
Each year the number of womxn killed is increasing. In 2019, 474 womxn have been killed by men they knew. The data is being compiled by We Will Stop Femicide. The data compiled by the government is inaccurate and it differs from one department to another. In 2020, these numbers are on a rise and the recent death of a university student urged the womxn to show solidarity on social media.
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Pinar Gültekin’s death
Pinar was a 22-year-old university student who was brutally murdered by her boyfriend. She was reported missing on 16th July. After many days her body was recovered. Her body was beaten, strangled, and buried in a barrel. Her perpetrator has been jailed due to high social media coverage. But the perpetrators in the past have been released shortly. To prevent that and to bring international attention, womxn took this issue and shared it on social media.
Women in turkey are used to seeing images of womxn in black and white. Black and white images usually mean that the womxn is dead. They created this hashtag, to empower womxn around them. To remember the womxn they have lost, and the knowledge that they may end up as a black and white photo sooner or later. The hashtag was soon picked up by the celebrities in Beverly Hills and lost the true meaning of the movement. It was soon picked up by many womxn worldwide, unaware of its origin. It may be a vanity contest or performative feminism for us. For women in Turkey, it’s not. Let us amplify the voices of womxn in Turkey. We have accepted the challenge, have you?
For a detailed article read his – Murder in Turkey sparks outrage over rise in violence against women