Vogue Empower – Feminism Sells in India

vogueempowerWhile the male-dominant ideologies linked to the traditional Indian woman take over the majority of India, Vogue India’s Vogue Empower movement has initiated for more modern, gender equal and female-friendly media through advertisements (Vogue India). The movement has spread through social media outlets through #VogueEmpower in efforts to raise awareness about the oppression of women in India and the violation of their rights with the ongoing slogan: “Think, Speak, Act. It starts with you.” Bollywood celebrities have been in support of this campaign and major fashion companies like: Manish Arora, Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, and many more have all pledged their dedications to the cause (Vogue UK). Vogue Empower has also inspired companies to produce advertisements that empower women that do not fall into the typical norms of a stereotypical Indian woman.


One company, Ariel Detergent, portrays how women react to a man asking for his laundry to his wife, who is portrayed as a working woman earning more than her husband. This commercial initiated the social media trends, #IsLaundryOnlyAWomansJob and #Sharetheload (Vogue India). The way the advertisement is portrayed defies the stereotypical domesticated Indian wife.


In a Titan Raga watch commercial, Indian actress, Nimrat Kaur is meeting her ex-boyfriend who has not moved on with time as he suggests that their relationship would have worked if she had quit her job (Vogue India). The purpose of Titan’s commercial was to portray how the patriarchal approach has not changed, initiating the movement, #HerLifeHerChoices.


Vogue Empower has also started another campaign through a film called “Start with the Boys”, to concentrate on how boys are raised and target domestic violence (Vogue India). The movie raises awareness about women’s safety since the recent high-profile rape attacks that have occurred in New Delhi. Vikas Bahl’s short film, “Going Home” also is part of the Vogue Empower campaign to show that a woman should be approached on her own terms and cannot be prone to be harassed just because she may be in a vulnerable and fearful state. (Huffington Post).


Direct donations can be made directly into the organizations and Vogue Empower-inspired merchandise also supports the movement. Vogue Empower hopes to target the lives of both urban and rural women about the financial, sociological, emotional, and safety issues of women (Vogue India).

Vogue 1, Vogue 2, Vogue 3, Huffington Post, Vogue 4

By: Sayyada Fazal, The India Center Fellow