MUST BOL – a youth led campaign against gender-based violence in India uses social media for social change

Must Bol is a call to young people to examine violence in their lives and speak out against it. The campaign is targeting youth in Delhi who are active and potential social media users, and uses creative media to generate thought-provoking discussions on gender and violence. The campaign has taken up issues of relevance to the inner circle of young people’s lives - self, body, family, peers, intimate relationships and workplace. 'In our engagement with young people we have witnessed how gender affects so many aspects of young people's lives and yet remains largely unquestioned. Violence emerging from gender goes largely unrecognized and routinised in many ways and even celebrated at times. There is great need for intervention and support, for placing gender in perspective and creating avenues for dialogue and discussion,' said Rama Rao, the facilitator of CYC’s Youth led Campaign. 'What is happening through this campaign is frank and open sharing of experiences and discussion about issues and solutions and action for change.' Through an open call for enrollment to become part of a core group leading the campaign, 22 young people from diverse backgrounds and education emerged (see www.mustbol.in/campaigners). The campaign is using a strategy that includes leveraging social media as a key venue for social interactions among young people, men and women as a space to talk, share and discuss. The campaign is also using video, photographs, and comics to engage young people. Furthermore, the campaign is engaging with young people on college campuses during festivals and special events, using creative activities to promote sharing and discussions, and reaching out to young people in spaces they come together like cafes, marketplaces and communities. So far, Must Bol has reached over 5000 people through social media platforms, with direct membership of over 2500. There have been over 500,000 page views of the various discussions that are part of campaign activities. Offline, the campaign has directly reached over 2000 young people. For more information on the Must Bol campaign and its online activities, see: • www.mustbol.in • www.fearlessbol.com - invites anonymous sharing from young people on experiences thoughts on GBV. Also includes a Resource pages to support understanding of young visitors on key issues. • www.Facebook.com/DelhiYouth - strategically named LET’S TALK, the campaign Facebook page is modeled as a participatory dialogue space with fun, friendly ,positive and inclusive moderation mindfully bringing in strategic questions on personal perceptions of GBV. • www.mustbol.in/video-blog - short films created by the Must Bol Campaign Core group that put forth diverse views on issues including ‘masculinity’, ‘care vs Control’, and ‘gender stereotyping’. • Must Click Online Photography contest - invites young people to articulate their understanding and interpretation of ‘Masculinities’ -www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.173646636017347.34019.12650886 and www.mustbol.in/video-blog/must-click-masculinity • Social media campaign against Violence during the festival of Holi - prompted men to create calls for action for a ‘this Holi let’s be consensual before being sensual’ – see www.facebook.com/notes/lets-talk/on-holi/170931826288828 The campaign also has pages on Twitter, Flicker and Youtube: www.twitter.com/mustbol www.youtube.com/mustbol www.flickr.com/photos/mustbol For more information, contact caroline.liou@undp.org .

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