Initiative: #BHL (Bigdi Hui Ladki / Bigda Hua Ladka)
Organization: BBC Media Action (India)
Country: India
Facebook: @BBCMediaActionIndia
Twitter: @BBCMediaActionIndia

In spite of modernisation and development, India, as a society still carries a lot of baggage from a traditional past that limits the identity, agency, autonomy and therefore, the future of its young people. They continue to live in the shadow of parental authority, in a patriarchal society with deep rooted gender discrimination, that forms a force-field of social expectations around them. This force-field is perpetuated by a string of gender stereotypes that harm both boys and girls and a culture of silence that punishes any form of non-conformity. It is further perpetuated by unreasonable standards of ‘good’ behaviour, which are distinctly different for boys and girls.

#BHL was a gender-agnostic hashtag campaign that aimed to identify and deconstruct gender stereotyping labels such as Bigdi Hui Ladki or Bigda Hua Ladka among boys and girls aged between 16 and 25. It used the social media platforms of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatApp over a period of 11 weeks to spark relevant conversations about gender stereotypes and labels, thus reaching out to over 13 million people.