Stories of unmarried women facing stigma at the gynaecologist
#MyGynaecStory was the online leg of a much larger campaign called Health Over Stigma, by the non-profit group Haiyya. The campaign sought to dismantle the stigma surrounding sexual health of unmarried women, and demanded accountability from medical service providers for stigma-free, non-judgemental sexual and reproductive healthcare services. It aimed to receive public commitments from institutions such as hospitals, ministries and other relevant health actors to update their code of conduct. We wanted to have unmarried women around the country share first-person experiences of stigma faced at the gynaecologist using the hashtag #MyGynaecStory to build legitimacy around the issue, so we could hold medical service providers accountable to stigma-free healthcare.
Running for a duration of 5 months (Jun 17 – Nov 11), the campaign was extremely successful and capturing public attention and sparking a conversation about unmarried women’s experiences at the gynaecologist and their right to stigma-free healthcare. As a part of this campaign, I ran regular social media chats on Twitter and Instagram, created posters highlighting women's experiences, produced a video, and culminated the campaign with a social media storm in which over 80 women shared their stories on a single day. Overall, the campaign shared over 260 stories by unmarried women narrating their experiences of stigma, discrimination and low-quality healthcare – all for the crime of being unmarried.