Indian youth for a positive change
The second Global Citizen India Action Journey has motivated over 3 lakh Indian youth to take action to encourage their leaders and their peers to improve Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) issues in India. Over 750,000 actions were taken to exert positive pressure on government, corporate, charity and faith leaders to break taboos and push the needle on sanitation for all.
The next Action Journey focuses on Gender Equality issues in India, setting out to redress the balance and ensure that women have equal opportunities to those of men. The actions will focus on gender roles, women’s safety, gender budgeting, and women in the workplace; four issues central to the empowerment of women in India. Social structures, local traditions and religious norms create hurdles for women in Indian public life. Recent figures show the labour force participation rate for Indian women is falling, and furthermore, that the more educated a woman, the wider the pay gap she faces – that pay gap only grows even further as she advances in her career. Women's safety in cities and rural communities is a critical issue for women’s participation in public life, but for this to change, Indian society must drive a perception change about the role a woman plays at home and at work.
Farhan Akhtar, Global Citizen India Ambassador, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and Men Against Rape and Discrimination (MARD) founder, believes that men and boys have an important role to play in ending gender inequality:“Feminism is often disregarded by men as a ‘women’s thing’. That is not a constructive attitude. Men and boys need to stand up and realise the unconscious bias and the outright inequality that women in India face every day – whether they live in towns and cities or whether in rural areas – and commit to take action to redress the balance. When we believe that ‘Shuruaat Hoon Main’, we will begin to make that change for the better.”
Kareena Kapoor Khan said she is committed to being part of the solution for the gender roles imbalance: “India is a nation still grappling with serious issue of gender inequality where often, women’s capabilities are questioned. Empowering every Indian woman – rural or urban, child or adult, businesswoman or homemaker, will directly translate into supporting the nation for the greatness it has set out to achieve. At this special time in my life, I couldn’t be happier to be a part of the Global Citizen India movement in its efforts to address the issue of gender inequality in the country so that generations to come can benefit from a more equal society.”
The inaugural Global Citizen Festival India will be held in Mumbai on 19 November 2016, and will be headlined by Coldplay, Jay Z, Aamir Khan, A.R. Rahman, Ranveer Singh, Katrina Kaif, Farhan Akhtar, Shraddha Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor, Arijit Singh, Dia Mirza, Shankar Ehsaan Loy, and Monali Thakur.