The #ChallengeAccepted Movement, Femicide in Turkey and More…

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Challenge Accepted Movement, with more than 6m black-white Instagram photos shared by women, has been viral in the last days. All of us have most probably seen at least a couple of those pictures on our Instagram flow. Women from all around the world share their glamour black and white pictures with #ChallengeAccepted and #WomenSupportingWomen hashtags. But seriously! What is the #ChallengeAccepted movement? Why do women share black and white photos with #WomenSupportingWomen hashtag? How did all start?

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CHALLENGE ACCEPTED @clairemccarthygram @barbarabaumel • You may have seen black & white photos from the women you follow with #womensupportingwomen #womenempoweringwomen pop up in your feed recently. The origin of this movement comes from what is happening to Turkish women – to cite @auturkishculturalclub, in recent years, reports of violence against women have skyrocketed. Well over 1,000 women have been officially killed in gender-based violence since 2010. This year has been particularly difficult for Turkish women – the combined effects of social media trolling, a plummeting economy, deepening toxic masculinity, and the COVID-19 crisis have escalated an already delicate situation. Then came Pinar Gültekin, a university student who was reported missing on July 16th. She was last seen waiting for a bus in Mugla Province. When her body was exhumed, she had been beaten, strangled, and buried in a barrel. Although her killer has been identified and taken into custody, many fear that he will be released soon or receive a light sentence – which is the case for many of the men who killed these women. In honor of #pınargültekin, let’s stand against Femicides in Turkey. Turkish people wake up every day to see black & white photos of murdered women on their social media feeds, in their newspapers, and on their TV screens. In solidarity, #challengeaccepted – not one more murdered woman. #stopviolenceagainstwomen

A post shared by Eva Green Web (@evagreenweb) on

We have made some researches to clear your mind and answer your questions. Thus, we have come up with some ideas and here they are!

What are the Roots of #ChallengeAccepted Hashtag?

To begin with, first, we wish to clarify where and why the “Challenge Accepted” hashtag on social media became viral. As there are several arguments on the issue, it is important to explain the actual causes.

#ChallengeAccepted, or also known as Challenge Accepted Campaign became originally viral in social media way back in 2016. The intention then was spreading positivity to tackle cancer and for cancer awareness. The challenge later became popular in July 2020 triggered by the aftermath impact of the global George Floyd protests. Later, social media users launched it again to spread positivity amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Later in 2020: The Hashtag Became Popular Again!

The sources revealed that it is unclear how and where the 2020 campaign began originally. However, some of those reported that according to the New York Times, women in Turkey were the real subjects to be instrumental in bringing this campaign back. They, hereby, provided to wide global attention following the continuous harassment faced by Turkish women. In July 2020, protests broke out in Turkey after a university student, whose name is Pınar Gültekin, was strangled, burnt, and murdered by her ex-boyfriend.

As of 30 July 2020, Instagram users used the hashtag #ChallengeAccepted on Instagram over 6 million times. The number is still increasing.

What Is The Reason for Challenge Accepted Movement?

The purpose of the Challenge Accepted Movement is also to strengthen the female friendships and sisterhood by showing a way of appreciation and acknowledgment among each and every woman. Women are acting great when they are getting together and acting together. They, through these hashtags, tag other women in the platform privately directly through their DMs. Hence, they encourage and invite each other to post and share black and white selfies.

International Support from World-Famous Celebrities

1st class and world-famous celebrities have been also joining this campaign, or better to say “trend.” Popular celebrities like Ivanka Trump, Khloe Kardashian, Kerry Washington and Paris Hilton have come to solidarity to raise their voice against “femicide” in Turkey and the world. They, thus, also help women around the world to grow their voice and make their requests to be heard in the world. 

Critics Over The Challenge Accepted Movement on Instagram

While we see more than 6 million black-and-white pictures on Instagram, many others have been more skeptical of the movement’s impact. They are questioning the tangible outcomes of the photos. Writer Caroline Moss tweeted “I literally cannot get over challenge accepted,” “Here’s a hot photo of myself because I support women.”

It seems the #ChallengeAccepted movement is the latest viral variant of activism. The black-and-white portraits come about a month after the similarly criticized #BlackoutTuesday movement. Then, social media users posted black tiles to their Instagrams in solidarity with protests for racial equality. And so, they called to end racist police brutality. #BlackoutTuesday and #BlackLivesMatter hashtags garnered 23.1 million posts with that tag.

What is Happening in Turkey?

Istanbul Convention is the first international agreement that aims to protect women against domestic violence. (Image Credit-World Future Council)
Istanbul Convention is the first international agreement that aims to protect women against domestic violence. (Image Credit-World Future Council)

Meanwhile, in Turkey, women have been fiercely fighting against femicide, violence against women, discrimination, inequality, and massacre. While all those violent acts happen in Turkey against Turkey, Justice and Development Party (AKP), the ruling party of Turkey, has been threatening and discussing to cancel the Istanbul Convention. The convention is the first legally binding instrument that establishes a set of legal rules to combat violence against women. So, enforcement of the convention is quite vital for women’s well-being.

The original name of the Istanbul Convention is the “Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence”. Since that name is quite a mouthful, people mostly refer to the “Istanbul Convention”, where it was first opened for signatures on 11 May 2011.

So, tell us what are your ideas about women’s solidarity on social media. It will be teaching for us to see your comments.

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