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  • Writer's pictureJ.C. Hannigan

#ChallengeAccepted: The Real Challenge

Over the last few days, I've seen an overwhelming amount of black and white lady-selfies on my Instagram feed. The messages were always ones of women empowerment, and when I Googled the challenge yesterday (at 3 o'clock in the morning, mind you, during a bout of stomach issues)...the first page was all about the reason of woman empowerment, with so many articles. I sent to a few nominations to my gal pals that I feel embody woman empowerment and encouraged them to participate.

I didn't know the real reason this challenge was created: to draw attention to the femicide happening in Turkey.

Only...I didn't see a single mention of it when I looked.

That doesn't mean there weren't many Tweets and posts about the actual meaning; it just meant that 1) I should have searched past that first page and 2) the appropriate information was was buried.

Now that I know better, I can help spread the message so other's do too. Because I know that each and every single woman I would have "nominated for a woman empowerment post" cares just as deeply about the plight of Turkish women.

So, in case you are new to this information too:

In 2019, 474 women were killed in the country...the highest number recorded in a decade and a 200% increase since 237 women were murdered in 2013.

42% of Turkish women aged between 15-60 had suffered some physical or sexual violence by their partners according to a study done in 2009. Turkey is one of the top countries when it comes to femicides. Murderers often get a slap on the wrist, or no charges at all and the government is trying to abolish certain aspects of the Istanbul Convention: a human rights treaty that protects women against domestic violence. [Source]

This is an example of how easy it is to white wash history, even as it happens.

We have tiny devices and the whole wide web at our disposal and yet, the true message of this was lost as soon as the challenge went viral.

As soon as I realized the heart of what the #ChallengeAccepted challenge is, I changed my description and decided to spread this information. I know that the majority of people participated without meaning to bury such an important campaign.

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