Driving with Selvi explores the life of a woman who defies the strict patriarchal traditions of India. After beating the odds and escaping a life as a child bride, she further challenges tradition as South India’s first female taxi driver. Filmed over 10 years, Selvi grows from a timid victim into a strong and empowered working mother.
Highlighting the inequalities that women around the world face, Driving with Selvi is the centerpiece for a campaign seeking change societal norms in India. In India, 47% of girls marry before the age of 18 (ICRW), 1 rape occurs every 30 minutes (Times of India), and women are not awarded the same opportunities for employment as men. Like many women in her country, Selvi was disenfranchised at every stage in her life. However, when she decides to escape her marriage for a life of independence, she shows that others can do the same.
This is not the first documentary that Picture Motion has supported that deals with the topic of abuse of women in India. Our team has worked passionately for a better and more equal future for these women and, while strides have been made, these issues persist. As a strong working woman, driving gave her dignity, a new identity and respect for herself, in turn helping her gain respect from men and women alike.
Our support for Driving with Selvi comes with the hope that this campaign will continue to pave the way for women in India to gain independence and control over their lives.
Driving With Selvi shows that one woman taking a stand can inspire a movement. In 2015, Selvi and the film’s impact campaign team will tour Karnataka, India, screening the film and generating dialogue about gender roles. The tour will also help organizations fighting to end child marriage and supporting women entrepreneurs. If successful, the Driving With Selvi tour will help women realize the power they can have over their own futures.
By Megan Ryan, Campaign Engagement Manager (@EveRyan00)
Megan graduated the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Ford School of Public Policy, where she spent years learning how inspired individuals and determined groups can make profound impact on our society. Prior to starting with Picture Motion, Megan worked with the Mega-Cities Project, a transnational non-profit network of leaders dedicated to sharing innovative solutions to the problems their cities face in common. Megan’s work at Picture Motion focuses on strategy, outreach and managing our grassroots screening tours. She is currently running the First Generation Go College! screening tour, sponsored by Wells Fargo, and managing the digital strategy for This Time Next Year.