It’s been almost two years since millions of women across the world used the simple, yet powerful, hashtag #MeToo. During this time, women have exposed, in various ways, the everyday nature of gender-based violence, harassment and discrimination. Drawing from the origins of the term Me Too, the movement has also drawn attention to other forms of structural inequality, involving race and class, and the persistence of multiple discrimination.
#MeToo’s impact has, to be sure, varied between one country to the next; in some, it has been minimal, in others, massive. Politics, the arts, businesses and NGOs were upended. Increasingly, women who spoke out weren’t automatically met with disbelief, with some perpetrators even having been held to account.
While public opinion has shifted, questions remain about the direction and sustainability of #MeToo. Does it represent a permanent change for the better or a small window of opportunity that will shut again, resulting in a backlash? How can we make sure the efforts lead to enduring societal change?