NotYourWife is a new media company centred around amplifying the voices of South Asian women and discussing the experiences of diasporic South Asians. Through a combination of articles, events, workshops and social media platforms, they are committed to sharing the untold stories of South Asian women and ‘third culture kids’ growing up in the diaspora. In just eight months, our fast-growing platform has gained a following of over 28,000 individuals on social media reaching half a million individuals on a weekly basis and has over 70 individuals within its contributor community (www.not-your-wife.com).
Asian Voice spoke to the founders of the company that was founded in March 2020, after British-Asian co-founders, Kiran Hothi and Sonam Kaur, found themselves struggling to find a relatable online space. Hosted Zoom workshops (with 50+ attendees) and social media discussions on topics including: patriarchy in the South Asian community, navigating interracial relationships and other cultural pressures, colourism and career trajectory.
The South Asian diaspora is estimated to be around 24 million, however continues to be an under-represented and under-explored space. NotYourWife seeks to openly and honestly discuss the complexities and unique experiences faced by South Asians growing up in the diaspora, whilst celebrating cultural diversity. “We work towards dismantling and disrupting stereotypes through creating a safe space to explore and discuss ‘generationally inaccessible’ or stigmatised topics including identity, relationships, patriarchy, mental health and lifestyle,” the founders told Asian Voice.
“We created NotYourWife initially as a 'passion project', as it was a platform we genuinely wish had existed whilst we were growing up and as we navigate our twenties and thirties, as first and second generation British-Asian women. The platform's growth and the feedback we receive daily indicates to us how necessary this platform was for us, but also for our community,” they added.
The name of the platform is a 'tongue in cheek' reference to the cultural stereotype attached to South Asian women.
What is that one major contributing factor/obstacle that keeps South Asian women from being empowered? Kiran and Sonam said, “The lack of representation of South Asian women in mainstream media is a major contributing factor that keeps South Asian women from being empowered and celebrated to their true potential. Historically there has also been an unwillingness to have honest and open dialogues around the South Asian experience, often due to many topics being deemed too taboo or generationally inaccessible. Since the launch of NotYourWife, we have had the opportunity to interact and engage with thousands of women who have shared similar experiences, but have previously struggled to find a platform to share their voice.”How can one join NYW, and what can women seek from the platform?Through a combination of our articles, events, workshops and social media platforms, we are committed to sharing the untold stories of South Asian women and ‘third culture kids’ growing up in the diaspora. We have some really exciting brand partnerships lined up for this year - watch this space! Our community of contributors is also growing, so we're featuring and surfacing stories from a diverse range of women. We host online conversations via our Instagram weekly, and often provide opportunities for women to share their stories with us, either via social media or by pitching a blog to us for a chance to feature on our website.
These are two of our major mission statements at NotYourWife that they are currently working on to Increase representation in mainstream media and create an open dialogue for South Asian women to be able to share their stories.