It’s difficult to grasp the gravity of problems that happen to “other people”. Other people’s problems are easily dismissed. UN Women wanted men in Latin America to change their attitudes to, and behaviour around, sexual assault. Sexual violence is an issue all over the world. But in Brazil, Panamá and Uruguay, 1 in 7 women have suffered physical and sexual violence. In Bolivia, Latin America and the Caribbean, at least 1 in 3 has suffered it at some time in their lives.
María Noel Vaeza, regional director of UN Women, noted that “although in recent years, survivors and activists have raised their voices to report and condemn this scenario through movements such as #MeToo, #TimesUp, #Niunamenos, #NotOneMore and #BalanceTonPorc, violence against adult women and girls is still common, standardised and rooted in our society.”
So McCann Worldgroup is giving men a taste of what it’s like to fear rape. The agency has created a film of a man going to jail, its emotive scenes interspersed with parallel moments of a women entering a bar.
The advertising agency’s involvement follows its signing the Women Empowerment Principles in the region last year. Fernando Fascioli, regional president of McCann Worldgroup for Latin America and The Caribbean, stated, “We call for more actors to join in this task of UN Women and the great challenge to eradicate negative stereotypes and unconscious bias, but above all to the commitment of a more inclusive and non- violent society, mainly in the field of gender. It´s a big task and depends on the actions of all of us at different levels.”
“It [violence] is in all countries and regions of the world,” María Noel Vaeza added. “It´s in the advertising that objectifies women or hyper-sexualises girls; in the sexist ‘jokes’ to which women are exposed in the work environment or in educational centres or in songs inciting sexual violence.”