Barkha Dutt Unveils 'We The Women' Debut Festival for Facebook and UN Women In Bengaluru

Entertainment | October 9, 2018 | News

Barkha Dutt

A unique one-day festival - themed on #openingdoors and #breakingbarriers – brought together a diverse group of exemplary men and women from all walks of life. A star-studded stage saw people like Sonam K Ahuja, Shweta Bachchan Nanda, Tanushree Dutta, Taapsee Pannu, Vicky Kaushal, Mithali Raj, Saxophone Subbalaxmi, Debjani Ghosh from NASSCOM, 102-year-old athlete Sardarni Man Kaur, India’s First Female Ghatam Artiste Sukkanya Ramgopal, Keshav Suri, Rohini Nilekani, Raghu Karnad, Pooja Shetty, Anuja Chauhan, The Women of INSV Tarini and Shabnam Virmani amongst others.

Reflecting larger global and national conversations, We the Women forum exchanged dialogues and emphasized the issues like the fight of women against the religious orthodoxy whether in ending Triple Talaq or demanding the right to enter Sabarimala; the battle by Bohri women to end Female Genital Cutting; the new currents and shifts in popular culture and cinema; the challenges and struggles of Trans-Women; Life after the end of Section 377 and the trials and achievements of women in uniform. 

Expressing her views, Award-Winning Journalist Barkha Dutt said, “We The Women, in its own words, is a participatory, open-to-all, forum that aims to build an annual space that brings an unfettered expression, great conversation, forging bonds, mentoring and networking and ultimately a wide community of friends”. 

Actor Sonam K Ahuja in conversation on whether cinema has finally found its female voice said, “so many women do not report cases of sexual harassment at the workplace or their experiences of sexual violence because they know that reporting is not only the means to relive the trauma. While it is great that women are speaking up, it is also showing us how hard it is to actually break that silence. The industry is stepping out to support women voice and it’s going to take some time to create a universe where all voices will be treated equally.”

Reaffirming her support for Tanushree Dutta, who accused Nana Patekar of sexual harassment she said, “Three of us (Farhan Akhtar, I and Swara Bhaskar) have said on social media that we believe her. But people at press conferences are not giving an answer when they were asked, and they have the power to move things”.

 

Sonam also addressed the sexual assault allegations against producer Vikas Bahl, “I hope girls and boys to know that even if it is one person speaking it makes a difference. I don't know him (Vikas Bahl) I don't know the situation but if what is written is true, it is disgusting. It's awful. And if it is true they should absolutely be punished for it.” 

Talking about her new upcoming film The Zoya Factor and what she wants young people to know, she said, “I really like the character I am playing in the film. Like all young girls, I have also struggled with myself and I relate to it. A role that I played in the film Khoobsurat knew herself, but my character in The Zoya Factor begins to understand who she is only after meeting Nikhil. I worked very closely with the director to develop the character, but I also worked on it alone.” 

Addressing the masculinity actor Vicky Kaushal said, “Men express their gender identities in a variety of ways. Some believe that “being a man” requires honesty, courage, hard work, and competence. Others express masculinity through physical prowess, toughness, and daring.”

A special food and flea market; Open-Mic performances of music and poetry and food stalls added to the complete 'break-free' Sunday. The festival executed by Fountainhead MKTG also honoured men and women who have shown remarkable excellence in their areas, taking all risks, battling the odds and coming all their way to success.

Rohan Salvi, Senior Vice President - Business Development and Client Servicing (Events), Fountainhead MKTG comments "It has been an absolute pleasure working with Barkha & MOJO.  We are extremely glad to be partnering for the event and hope that this platform gives many the strength to engage in a positive & constructive dialogue. From the debut edition in Mumbai last December to now introducing Bangalore the power of the participatory platform, we at Foutainhead MKTG are striving to make this initiative bigger & better."

We The Women - a unique, participatory, one of its kind festival, created and curated by Barkha Dutt for Facebook & UN Women kickstarted today at Hotel The Lalit Ashok.

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