‘Fight Back’ to represent India at US youth summit

November 24th, 2008 - 5:50 pm ICT by IANS  

FacebookNew Delhi/Mumbai, Nov 24 (IANS) Fight-Back, an online gender justice campaign launched this year in Mumbai after a woman there was molested outside the JJ Marriott Hotel on New Year’s eve, will represent India at the prestigious International Youth Movements Summit in New York Dec 3-5.The celebrity campaign helps young women across the country with wallet cards listing police helpline numbers, online discussion forums, support groups and media to enable them fight against gender abuse and injustice.

Fight-Back is the only gender justice initiative from India to have been chosen for the summit.

The conclave, being hosted for the first time, will bring representatives and technology experts from 17 pioneering organisations from across the globe who are running similar online campaigns against injustice. They will share their experiences and exchange ideas and establish global linkages to strengthen the fight against atrocities and oppression.

The global conclave is being partnered by Howcast Media, US Department of State, Facebook, Google, MTV and Columbia University Law School on the Columbia University Law School Campus in Manhattan.

The event will also be streamed live online by Howcast and MTV.

Senior television-media professional Zubin Driver, founder of Fight-Back, who is representing India said he would speak about the inception of the movement, its online and offline campaigns across the country and on the gender issues that ail India - especially its women - in his keynote address at the summit.

“We have just launched a campaign against female foeticide with a television commercial featuring media and showbiz personality Dolly Thakore which will go on air Monday,” Driver, the creative network director of the TV 18 Group (and head of Cell 18), told IANS from Mumbai Monday.

The speakers include Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, award-winning actress and television anchor Whoopi Goldberg, US Under Secretary of State James Glassman, US Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Oscar Morales, founder of the movement against Colombia’s terrorist group Luke Russert of MSNBC, and Columbia Law School professor Matt Waxman.

Listing the gender abuses rampant in the country, Driver said female foeticide was the gravest of all gender excesses like rape, molestation, eve-teasing, sexual harassment at workplace and domestic violence.

“On an average, two million urborn girls are killed every year in the country. The perpetrators are wiping out a segment of the population,” he said.

Driver plans to collaborate globally to mobilise opinion against female foeticide. The online group, which also networks on Facebook.com, picks up issues in response to the immediate environment and responds proactively to it, Driver said.

The organisation recently mobilised opinion against the murder of Headlines Today journalist Soumya Vishwanathan in Delhi with the tagline - “We want to travel at 3 a.m. and not feel unsafe”.

According to Jason Liebman, co-founder and CEO of Howcast Media, one of the partners of the summit, “The conclave provides a unique opportunity to bring these socially conscious groups together for the purpose of making real, positive change in the world.”

The US conclave was inspired by the success of the Million Voices, a group started on Facebook.com by young people in Bogota against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

The organisation brought 12 million people to the streets in 190 cities worldwide in protest against FARC, an extremist group that has been terrorising Colombia for more than 40 years.

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