Prime Minister Narendra Modi has revealed he will hand over his social media accounts to women “whose work and life inspire us” on March 8, thereby laying to rest the speculations which had been triggered by a cryptic tweet on Monday.
“This Women's Day, I will give away my social media accounts to women whose life & work inspire us. This will help them ignite motivation in millions. Are you such a woman or do you know such inspiring women? Share such stories using #SheInspiresUs,” Modi said.
This Women's Day, I will give away my social media accounts to women whose life & work inspire us. This will help them ignite motivation in millions.Are you such a woman or do you know such inspiring women? Share such stories using #SheInspiresUs. pic.twitter.com/CnuvmFAKEu— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 3, 2020
The PM had triggered buzz of a break from social media on Monday night when he said he was thinking of “giving up” his Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube accounts this Sunday. Soon after supporters of Modi had begun trending #NoSir and other similar trends to suggest that they too would follow suit and delete their accounts if the PM did.
In his tweet on Tuesday, Modi urges women, whose work may inspire thousand others, to post about their achievements on social media or shoot a video and upload it on social media. Women who are fortunate enough to get selected would be able to take over the Prime Minister's social media accounts on Women's Day.
In a way, PM Modi's gesture captures the right spirit of Women's Day; not only will the selected women get a chance to narrate their stories, but will also be able to voice their opinions and speak for all the women in the country on a public platform. And for once, people might actually listen, given that the tweets will be coming from the Prime Minister's own Twitter account.
Let's also not forget that PM Modi also became the third most followed world leader on Twitter in 2019, behind only US President Donald Trump and his predecessor Barack Obama. He is also one of the most-followed world leaders on social media. He has 53.3 million followers on Twitter, 44 million on Facebook and 35.2 million on Instagram.
In fact, PM Modi sets quite an example for other leaders and politicians, who too could use their popularity and influence to catapult a change and actually help pave the way for women to break shackles of patriarchy.
Maybe world leaders, including Modi's US counterpart, President Donald Trump, could take note too. This year, six women are running for the Presidential elections from the Democratic party.
While it may seem bewildering that only a handful of women have been given the ticket, let us remind you that this is the highest number of women candidates ever. Yes, that's right! Data showed that while women do have more representation in American politics, men still find it easier to climb the ladder to the top as compared to women. The same study also reveals that a majority of women feel that the reason women are underrepresented in leadership roles is because they have to work harder to prove themselves.
Not just America, there is a stark gender gap in corporate culture and in politics around the world. Data by the United Nations showed that among Parliamentarians around the world, only 24.3 percent were women. Yet, a study by the UN also reveals that participation of women in politics and decision making processes often proves to be beneficial.
One can only hope that other global leaders take a cue from PM Mod. While his move may not entirely eradicate misogyny or sexism rampant in the country, it certainly sets an example and is a much-needed step forward.