Because Every Woman Can Fly — #RukJaanaNahi with ixigo

They say, “there is no force more powerful than a woman determined to rise”. Complying with this thought, this Women’s Day, we at ixigo decided to encourage our female employees to seek the determination within them and take a step towards breaking societal stereotypes associated to womanhood.

Being a leading travel marketplace, we thought it would be ideal to start right at home ground. Step one was to bring together all our women employees and ask them one very important question — “Are you allowed to travel?” After a phase of initial silence on hearing the word ‘allowed’, we saw the voices raise, we heard the concerns being shared, and after a long conversation, one thing that was clear is that no matter what age and time we’ve grown up in, as women we have become a bit too accustomed with the notion of seeking ‘approval’ to travel.

This was the thought that provoked ixigo’s #RukJaanaNahi campaign. We talked about the stigmas associated with women travellers in India. A deep dive into the lives of our employees revealed a bunch of common experiences that most of us have had while growing up. We decided to bring this to the forefront with a video that not only addressed the cause but also inspired women to break free.

With stories that were so heartfelt, we decided to make this video with all our own ixigems. From all the women in the video, to the production, execution and distribution, we made sure, everything was in-house.

#RukJaanaNahi is an ode to all those women who are yet to find their wings to fly. Travel is an essential part of our lives, and embracing it should be the choice of each individual, irrespective of gender. Within minutes of the video going live, we received responses from all over the country of women from all walks of life telling us stories of their own struggles. While many encouraged them to overcome their apprehensions, others appreciated the thought and sentiments behind the message we were trying to put across.

Within 24 hours we reached 1 Million hearts across the country. We got tweets from renowned celebrities and powerful women such as Saumya Tandon and Jwala Gutta who supported our cause. The response was overwhelming. The conversations spoke of empowerment, of progression and of bringing about a change, one that we somehow managed to trigger.

We thought it wouldn’t be enough to stop just here. While addressing concerns relating to women’s travel, another very important issue that came up was that of poor hygiene and sanitation. Empowering women to travel is just the beginning, we also wanted to give them an initial nudge. We partnered with Pee-Buddy, an organisation that makes portable female urination devices that help women travel stress-free. We took to all our social handles to allow women to register for complimentary ‘Travel Hygiene Kits’, containing various handy things.

While all of this brought in great response from all around, it was absolutely essential to look out for the people who made all of this possible — our women employees. On the occasion of Women’s Day, we invited Shilpi Singh, Head — Leadership & Coaching Practice and Co-Founder, Unhotel to chat with our ixigems. The session helped most of us open up about the oppressions that we’ve had to face as working women and what keeps us going despite all the forces against us. A truly inspiring session, that ended with us coming up with innovative jingles promoting womanhood!

This is just the beginning of the #RukJaanaNahi initiative. We have now reached almost 6 Million people. We intend to keep taking this message of empowerment forward and ensure that ixigo enables women to make decisions and travel without apprehensions. Like Michele Ruiz once said, “If people are doubting how far you can go, go so far that you can’t hear them anymore.”