The League of Independent Activists (IndyACT) have come up with a novel idea for spreading awareness about sexual harassment faced by women. The campaign, titled "The Adventures of Salwa," aims at helping women combat various forms of harassment and abuse both in the public and private domains of their lives.
The campaign is the product of the beliefs and genius of five women who feel the need to be aware of and equipped to deal with everyday harassment and the resulting trauma. To achieve their objective, the campaign follows a series of steps ranging from featuring Salwa in all major social networking sites to holding meetings for victims of harassment to deal with their trauma.
The animated video shows Salwa working by her computer when she is summoned by her boss. On entering her boss’s office, she finds him holding a letter certifying her promotion. As she happily goes to take the letter from him, he suddenly leans forward, attempting to kiss her. An infuriated Salwa smacks the boss with her handbag and walks out in a huff.
The first part of the story is not a very uncommon one. It is the “walking out” that most of us are unable to do — the reason of course being the fear of the repercussions! We understand that we will face further persecution on letting go our job while our perpetrators will escape unscathed. In India, it’s only been six years since sexual harassment has been given the recognition of a criminal offense. Yet, the condition of women at work and in the streets has not improved much! In fact, this form of expression is so often used by men to subjugate women, it has become a hidden, almost normal part of our lives.
Undoubtedly, therefore, this “Salwation” comes as a fresh lease on life for the Lebanese women and a gentle reminder to stand up against harassment for the rest of the women in the world!