WEIRD NEWS: A Contest to End Violence Against Women?

Is it me or does a contest to pick “the best advertising campaign to promote awareness” of “gender-based violence” seem in bad taste?  This week, the UN announced public voting for “your favourite ad” focusing on violence against women.  The voting is going on now and the winner gets 500 euros  It’s almost as bad as putting Saudi Arabia on the UN Women’s council. Almost.

“Because the subject of this year’s competition is, alas, a real tangible issue for every nation, we can expect the same enthusiasm and creativity to put the spotlight on it,” said Afsané Bassir-Pour, the Director of the UN Regional Informational Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC).

Did she say enthusiasm?

Bassir-Pour was referring to the competition last year for their previous ad campaign to end poverty.  [I’m not even going to comment on that one].  What exactly is the chosen ad supposed to do?  Stop the violence?  The UN is way off on this and I think it is making a mockery of violence against women.  This is serious.  It is tragic.  Above all, it is real and the millions spent on implementing the campaign could be put to better use, like perhaps establishing a safe shelter or providing an international number, monitored 24 hours a day to guide abused women out of their situation.

According to the UN release “up to 70 per cent of women have experienced violence at some point in their lives.”  That number seems high, especially given that most violence against women goes unreported.  In the U.S., the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence claims “one in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.” Annually, nearly 17,000 people lose their life to an intimate party and “85% of domestic violence victims are women.”  A harsh reality for a contest that is expected to ignite enthusiasm and creativity.

The “contest” is for an ad campaign in Europe, not the U.S.

Check out the entries.  Like I said, “Weird.”