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#METOO – THE STORY OF A SIMPLE HASHTAG

The #MeToo campaign which has started in the U.S is gaining more and more attention all around the world. It´s a movement for raising awareness for sexual harassment and encourage women to speak about them suffering over sexual abuse.

The start was marked with accusations against the American mogul of film industry Harvey Weinstein. On 15th October 2017 Alyssa Milano invented the hashtag while posting on Twitter “If you´ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ´me too´ as a reply for this tweet.” Thousands of women, mainly in the U.S and Canada, answered, shared their stories and consequently the hashtag went viral.

The following impact on modern society is huge. Since the victims were mentioning names, the suspects were fired, like Weinstein, forced to resign and the accusations were taken to court as well. Till now the campaign is clearly focusing on popular cases with all – known victims, even though the public is getting involved more and more.

 

#MeToo (not) becoming a trend all around the world?
#MeToo is trending in 85 countries all around the world, but noticeably it is less visible in Africa, Asia and the Arab World. Sexual molestation is still considered as a taboo theme and less discussed in mostly local conservative societies.

A state media of China even had the nerve to suggest the non – existence of sexual harassment in their country as a reason for the minute amount of posts from Chinese women and men, which is clearly untrue.
Victims from these parts of the world have much more to overcome to share their experiences instead of remaining silent. Caused by the obsessive ignorance of a public debate they are more likely not to be believed, when they turn against authorities. Moreover, the family pressure of shaming their families ´honour´ and public humiliation is very high and in some nations women are considered as unmarriageable when they had spoken up about sexual abuse.

But there are progresses made, changes in the minds of the people, which makes it easier for the supporters of the campaign to become braver.

 

Ghana´s raising awareness
The entire discussion about reckoning with the worlds unfairness and inequality is a “long overdue” according to the Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – feminist figurehead in Africa –. She demands the downfall of famous Hollywood celebrities only being the start of a whole new reconsideration of gender equality and should lead to fundamental discussions in Africa.

At least she holds the view that some things already have changed; the first stories are shared using #MeToo. “It´s just one story but, for me, it is symbolic of what this all movement has brought about”, Adichie said.

Recently, several Ghanaian stars are speaking up about obstacles they had to face, when they were trying to get a job. Joy News presenter Gloria Akpene Acquah, trade name MzGee, is taking the lead into this debate, while talking about how, back in time when she wanted to become an actress, a famous producer told her she had to sleep with him first, before getting any possibility to receive a job.

This can be considered as a step in the right direction, there is still a long way to go, but nevertheless the amount of supporting men and women is increasing. It´s up to them to build their future, even if it just in the way they live their lives.

 

Story by: Elisabeth Fitzke/Pinkfmonlinegh.com

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