Feminist lawyers of South Asia rally to aid of #MeToo survivors

Facing down intimidation, women all over this traditional region are speaking out about sexual harassment and violence Ali Zafar is famed across South Asia for his pop music, romantic comedies and even the occasional toothpaste advert. But last weekend he gave a particularly emotional performance on Pakistani television, tears welling in his eyes as he spoke of the effect sexual harassment allegations has had on his life. For the past year, the actor and musician has been embroiled in the countrys most high-profile tweeted her verdict: If anyone has earned the right to cry today, its thousands of survivors around us who were forced to watch a privileged man accused of sexual harassment and whine. Since the #MeToo movement gathered …

With her or with him? How the sexual attack of an Indian actor inspired a powerful feminist movement

Kerala, India (CNN)After Rima Kallingal’s friend and fellow actor was abducted and sexually assaulted in early 2017, she remembers watching the media coverage of the attack in horror. Today, the group’s membership features some of the biggest female names in Mollywood — as the Malayalam-language film industry in the southern Indian state of Kerala is known — as well as technicians and lesser-known actors. The WCC predates Hollywood’s Times Up campaign, which was sparked by multiple allegations of sexual assault against powerful director Harvey Weinstein and others in the #MeToo movement. Weinstein has repeatedly denied all allegations against him. It also comes at a time when feminist activist movements are gaining ground in Kerala. In January 2019, millions of women …

Why India’s political parties are turning to Bollywood for election candidates

Mumbai, India (CNN)For decades, Urmila Matondkar has enjoyed a successful career as a leading lady in Bollywood. In that environment, and as this election increasingly looks to be a close call, parties in recent weeks have sought to capitalize on star power — especially, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which had added a number of celebrities to its line-up. This month, Daler Mehndi, one of India’s most famous singers, joined the BJP. He follows cricketer Gautam Gambhir, actress Jaya Prada and singer Hans Raj Hans, who all recently joined the BJP to run in this cycle. When stars announce their campaigns, their first political rallies are almost guaranteed huge crowds, says Komal Nahta, film trade analyst: “They have that …