1. The taboo of breast-feeding in public
Earlier this month, Gilu Joseph, an actor-poet and former cabin crew member in Dubai, was featured on the polarising cover of a South Indian magazine as a mother breast-feeding her baby. The cover brought back the debate about mothers breast-feeding in public.
[Twitter]@ppurva: Men believe that the only reason a woman exists is for their titillation & pleasure. A woman displaying her breasts for selling Men’s underwear is OK. But a woman breast-feeding her child is obscene. #StopFrivolousCases #KillMisogyny
The film industry celebrated its top movies of the year at the #Oscars, which took place on March 4. This year’s wave of multiculturalism was once again strengthened as movies, directors and artists from diverse backgrounds bagged awards.
[Twitter]@InstantRHIplay: The fourth black person nominated for Best Original Screenplay, becomes the first black winner of the award.
3. Women’s day
Women’s International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8 every year. Women’s rights was a popular topic especially as the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns continue.
Not just that, last year editor of the website muslimgirl.com, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, launched Muslim Women’s Day (March 27) to honour Muslim women’s voices and to provide a counterpoint to negative stereotypes.
[Instagram] @isabel_j: It’s important to empower women, mainly through education. If you educate a man, you educate an individual. But if you educate a woman, you educate a nation - James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey. #WomensDay2018
4. Fighting Islamophobia
On March 11, #LoveAMuslimDay started trending in response to the Punish A Muslim Day campaign. Social media users expressed shock at reports about people across the UK receiving letters that encouraged them to commit violence against Muslims. The letters called on people to participate in “Punish A Muslim Day” on April 3.
[Twitter] @loveinheadscarf: “Punish a Muslim Day” is a manifestation of a public discourse that is allowed to
run amok, dehumanising Muslims. I admit it: I’m scared to go outside. I’m terrified for my kids. Wouldn’t you be? #PunishAMuslimDay
5. March for our lives
Gun control laws in the US was a popular topic this month. In the wake of increased gun violence especially in schools, people in the US stood up to protest and march to campaign against the current gun laws in the US The #NotOneMore and #Marchforourlives movements were supported by thousands.
[Twitter]@RepTimRyan: 7,000 pairs of shoes lay on the Capitol Hill lawn. They represent every child killed by a firearm since Sandy Hook. Congressional Republicans’ inaction on common sense gun reform is outrageous. We need to keep our kids safe. We can’t let any more shoes be added.
6. The death of a scientist
As soon as news of Stephen Hawking’s death broke yesterday, millions of messages, picture posts and tributes were posted by social media users recounting his contributions to science.
[Twitter]@Mayyish: RIP Stephen Hawking. Nothing but respect for a great physicist who, despite a debilitating condition, profoundly expanded science. He also always found time to oppose wars and colonisation.
Ahmad Hamdan, a 26-year-old Syrian activist and filmmaker who had launched the hashtag #IAmStillAlive to draw the attention to bloodshed in Syria was reportedly killed on March 14 in an airstrike. Social media users brought back the hashtag as a tribute and a message of solidarity and resilience.
[Twitter]@OneMajority: One of the (many) victims killed today in
Hamouriya was the beloved activist Ahmad Hamdan, who was known for starting the #IAmStillAlive social media campaign, and practicing peaceful resistance. Another good soul returns to God.
8. International Happiness Day
The International Day of Happiness is celebrated worldwide every March 20. The UAE started its five-day celebration on March 15 with a parade at City Walk in Dubai. The emirate also organised many happiness activities across the city to promote happiness.
[Facebook] Dedra L. Stevenson: International Happiness Parade in Dubai and I’m walking with team Ireland!
After news websites reported that the data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica used information gleaned from hundreds of millions of Facebook profiles to influence how Americans voted in the 2016 US election, social media users expressed their concerns regarding media platforms selling their information to advertisers. #DeleteFacebook trended with debates about ethicality of the social media platform.
[Twitter]@CofekICT: #DeleteFacebook trends around the world as raw anger erupts around the unmasking of Cambridge Analytica scam.