Many celebrities and millions of women have taken part in this empowering challenge.
Over the past few days, women, including celebrities have been posting black-and-white images of themselves on Instagram and other social media platforms as a sign of women empowerment. These black and white images are accompanied by #challengeaccepted and are a part of a campaign called “women supporting women”. This online campaign grew very quickly and each would-be participant is asked to tag other women, sometimes as many as 50, to post their own black and white photo.
One version of the chain message reads, "I was careful to choose who I think will meet the challenge, but above all who I know who shares this type of thinking, among women there are several criticisms; instead, we should take care of each other. We are beautiful the way we are. Post a photo in black and white alone, written “challenge accepted” and mention my name. Identify 50 women to do the same, in private. I chose you because you are beautiful, strong, and incredible. Let's ❤️ each other!"
So where did it all begin? Recently, the murder of a 27-year-old Turkish woman, Pinar Gultekin, allegedly by her ex-boyfriend sparked outrage in the country. It shed light on the country's shockingly high femicide rate and the Turkish government’s efforts to withdraw ‘Istanbul Convention’ – legislation that sought to protect women from gender-based violence. According to a study, 42% of Turkish women between the age of 15-60 have suffered some form of physical or sexual violence by their partners.
Recently, the basic rights of Turkish women faced a huge threat as the conservative government tried to nullify the laws claiming it poses a threat to the cultural values. According to the President, women are not equal to men, and those without children are deficient. Former Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım told supporters that rather than physically attacking women in public for wearing shorts, they should be verbally harassed. Yes, it actually happened.
Absolutely love all your posts, just wanted to draw your attention to the origins of the “challenge accepted” posts. It began to spread awareness in Turkey as they grieve the deaths of several women who are victims of Femicide. #istanbulsözleşmesiyaşatır pic.twitter.com/yY8tWiASAs— bunnymother (@bunnymother) July 29, 2020
Turkish women took to social media to explain that this trend was started as a mark of protest against femicide in Turkey. Soon it became a global initiative as women across the world took part in this challenge. According to a report by WHO, femicide is the term used for the intentional killing of females (women or girls) because they are females". The black and white photo is meant to represent the victims of gender violence whose photos were broadcast in news media.
just thought all of you posting these "black and white" challenges should see how tone deaf they actually are xx pic.twitter.com/WdQzQqMlza— ايمأن 🇵🇸 (@imaann_patel) July 28, 2020
According to reports, a staggering 474 women were killed in the country in 2019, due to gender-based violence and abuse, reported The Guardian. Explaining the cause, one Twitter user wrote, "Turkey is one of the top countries when it comes to femicides. Most often the murderers barely get a slap on a wrist or no charges at all… Our government is trying to abolish certain aspects of [the] Istanbul Convention which is a human rights treaty that protects women against domestic violence…”