#TimeToAct Is The Social Campaign That Can Finally Make A Difference For Women, But Will It?

Social media campaigns for social justice seem to be all the rage these days. A lot of awareness was raised for the kidnapping of over 200* schoolgirls in Nigeria with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

And the #YesAllWomen hashtag similarly highlighted the many issues and insecurities women are forced to confront in a male-dominated society that produced misogynist and UCSB shooter Elliot Rodger.

Now, celebrities are again beginning to popularize an older hashtag that was created to show why sexual violence in conflict is unacceptable.

In light of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, chaired by actress Angelina Jolie and UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, convening in London this week, #TimeToAct is making a resurgence among social media channels.

It's been Instagrammed and Tweeted about by the likes of model Cara Delevingne and designer Stella McCartney in just the past few days.

But this new trend has also brought back a lot of old questions. Like, probably most importantly, will this hashtag actually do anything?

If it can't help achieve actual justice for the women and girls who are impacted by sexual violence in conflict zones each day, then posting pics with this hashtag sloppily written across signage and appearing in the newsfeed of followers is just kind of self-congratulatory.

Raising awareness is great, but it's not enough to really make the difference.

We need action—and not just actors, like Jolie—in this international crisis.

Journalism project Women Under Siege summed it up nicely in the below Tweet. It's a necessary mix of everybody caring and actually doing something that will help inspire social change.

We need Angelina Jolie, just as we need investigators, prosecutors, advocates, journalists: #TimeToAct — Women Under Siege (@WomenUndrSiege) June 11, 2014

We can't just have people posing for pictures or putting up hashtags. We need policymakers and world leaders figuring out ways to improve the conditions for women and girls around the world.

*Editor's Note: The actual figure of Nigerian schoolgirls who were abducted varies from source to source, but US intelligence estimates that number to be 276.

Photos Courtesy: Instagram