India’s Feminist Men Who Deserve A Shout Out Too
As we celebrate International Women’s Day month with so much gusto let’s also take time to acknowledge these feminist men who have treated women with the respect they are entitled to. These men not only play an important role in empowering women but they also believe that we can achieve everything in our sight. We need more of such men in this world, to form a secure enlightened society that will help women to grow and design their own path to success. So to these very special feminist men, a very big thank you!
Farhan Akhtar is not only a renowned filmmaker, actor and musician, but also a humanitarian. In 2013, he started a campaign called MARD (Men Against Rape and Discrimination), which supports women empowerment. In 2014, Farhan Akhtar became the first male UN Women Goodwill Ambassador for Southeast Asia.
On International Women’s Day, Farhan Akhtar collaborated with celebrated music composer duo Salim-Sulaiman to create the single “Chulein Aasman” a peppy pop-rock song that propagates gender equality. He fervently participates in the causes related to women.
Raj Nayak, who is the former COO of Viacom18 has always been at the forefront of supporting Women Empowerment. He is associated with initiatives like Colors WE! Women Empower’, a unique crowdfunding campaign for the ‘WE! Udaan Scholarship.’ At SheThePeople.TV’s Digital Women Awards held in Mumbai, he shared that many of the top positions in Colors is occupied by women who not only delivered results but also improved the culture and gender approach of the entire organisation. Colors also launched a campaign #SundayIsHerHoliday to bring forward the hard work a woman does but even half of it doesn’t get its due acknowledgement.
K Onler Kom
K Onler Kom, husband of Indian Olympic boxer Mary Kom, is an inspiration for all men out there. He supported his wife by providing her everything from financial assistance to the comfort of a home-cooked meal, so that she could focus on boxing. He is always ready to go an extra mile for her despite all the hurdles.”If there’s any problem in the family, my husband never tells me about it. He says, ‘Don’t think about the children, don’t think about us. You just concentrate on your training,'” said Mary Kom.
Actor Adil Hussain who was a part of films like English Vinglish never shies away from speaking on issues related to women. He even reacted on Twitter about women not being a part of the Bollywood celebrities meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Earlier, Adil also slammed a multiplex chain on their sexist remark that demeans women by calling them a “nagging wife.”
Menstruation is still a taboo subject in rural India. Arunachalam Muruganantham not only took an initiative to empower women, but he also spread a very important message that periods are normal. “All countries where women are empowered, those countries are called developed nations. Countries, where women are not empowered, are called developing and under-developed countries,” Muruganantham told SheThePeople.TV.
Cricketer Suresh Raina, started an initiative for unprivileged moms. He also made an appeal for women’s rights through a video “My choices.” He pledged to protect the choices women make by respecting them.
Mahavir Singh Phogat
Mahavir Singh Phogat, an Indian amateur wrestler and a senior Olympics coach, is also the trainer and father of Phogat sisters. He believed in his girls and inspired them to conquer the heights of success, defying all patriarchal norms. By training his daughters into becoming successful wrestling champions he erased the line separating men and women in the sport.
Anand Mahindra, chairman of Mahindra Group has always initiated conversations on equal representation of women at work. He says that companies should not look for excuses to not hire women. He won a million hearts with his post on Twitter, in which he acknowledged the fact that working women need to put in greater efforts than their male counterparts to achieve success.
Sushant Singh, as the General Secretary at CINTAA (Cine and TV Artiste’s Association) led the movement at the association to redress the complaints of sexual harassment received during the #MeToo movement. He has supported the #MeToo movement on social media and offline as well.
Ganesh Natarajan, Vice Chairman and CEO, Zensar Technologies, initiated a Women for Excellence’ programme in his organisation that led to a significant increase in the number of women occupying senior management positions and is an investor in many women centred startups.
Disclosure: Anand Mahindra is an investor in SheThePeople