Red Tika Movement

The ‘Red Tika Challenge’ took off in Nepal’s social media in 2017, where participants posted pictures of themselves in red apparel to stand in solidarity with widows, who are not “allowed” by the Nepalese (Hindu) tradition to wear shades of red. It is not easy being a widow in Nepal and these traditions make their “status” even more so apparent. WHR, Women for Human Rights initiated the Facebook challenge with the hope of subverting against stigmas associated with widows, whose entire lives wind up revolving around the death of their husbands. Widows in Nepal face structural and institutional discrimination and are forced into a mental prison where they are stripped off of their happiness and expected to mourn for their husband’s death until the end of their lives.

It is important we bring more light to the consequential discrimination of these women and the ways in which they are exploited and the Facebook challenge did just that. It allowed for the younger generation to be more aware of and sensitive to the agony and misery of women who are more than just their status of a ‘widow’. The challenge saw people from all different backgrounds come together in solidarity of widows and in a span of three months, more than 100,000 people participated.