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International Women's Day: the MANifesto project

Peter Griffin

Updated: March 7, 2013, 7:09 PM IST
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On Valentine's Day, I started something called MANIFESTO (on facebook and Google+)

The stated goal was simple: get men to declare what they would do towards a gender-equal world. To that end, I wrote my own MANifesto, and invited people to agree or disagree with it, add more points, subtract, whatever, butand this was my devious subtextencourage conversation around the casual, subtle, sometimes thoughtless ways we perpetuate gender-based stereotypes. (I, for instance, find it hard not to automatically offer seats to women, something I don't do as much for men. Or another example, I struggle not to use the MC-BC swear words that seem to fall from my lips unbidden.)

Yes, it's very basic.

No, it doesn't go anywhere close to a solution to the problems that create an unequal world, but it's not even trying to solve all ills.

And yes, it only asks men to speak, and we should really also acknowledge that women perpetuate the problems too.

But it's just one attempt to tackle a small part of the environment and provoke some thought, hopefully in a memorable way. There are other efforts going on too (like the Blank Noise #safecity pledge) and this is just one of them. The more the better.

Now then. 8th March is coming up. It's the hundredth year in which it is being celebrated as International Women's Day (as per and the UN's theme for the day this year is "A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women."

So, taking a lesson from friends who have run things like Blank Noise and the Pink Chaddi campaign, I thought we could do a little thingie on or before the 8th.

So, please do follow MANifesto on facebook or Google+, and:

Make your own MANIFESTO. There is a template at both sites, and at the bottom of this post, should you want to use it. But feel free to make your own.

Take a photo of yourself holding it up. Post to social media. And share with friends. (And you could pass the word around too.)

To the women reading this:

I know this emphasises action by men, but you could join the page and post pledges too.

And, pretty please, with sparkly bells on top, pass this along to friends, male and female. And yes, please do critique what I and, hopefully, others will post as our manifestos.

In short:

Please join in.

Please pass around.

To save you the trouble of going all the way to Facebook or Google (and, just in case you're one of these three people on earth who is on neither) here's my original manifesto:

And here's the blank template for you to make your own:

First Published: March 7, 2013, 7:09 PM IST

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