“Respect Women – it’s as simple as that”.

UN Women Brazil launched a campaign to raise awareness against sexual violence during Carnival, taking into account the high number of cases that arise during the festivities.

Date: Friday, February 9, 2018

The campaign calls on HeForShe men to support women in the movement against sexual harassment and also ask Carnival attendees to listen to women and respect their decisions. The messages are simple and serve as a response to questions on where flirtation ends and harassment starts. 

Through the campaign, UN Women Brazil is explaining that the difference lies on “respect”, on whether or not the approach is respecting the woman’s will. In the spirit of Carnival, the messages bring a playful tone while also leaving room for reflection and conversations. 

“If a woman is wearing a short skirt, it means she wants to wear a short skirt”, “If a woman says she doesn’t want to kiss you, it means she doesn’t want to kiss you”, “If a woman says she wants to dance with her girlfriends, it means she wants to dance with her girlfriends”, “If a woman says no to you, it means she said no to you”, each of them are followed by the tagline “Respect women. It’s as simple as that”.  In a culture where people have been repeating the saying “In Carnival, everything is allowed”, the messages are saying that no violence against women will be allowed nor justified, and that the victim is never guilty.  The social media messages, the posters and the videos also aim at engaging HeForShe men to act as active bystanders.

In addition to the dissemination on the internet, the campaign is also being run on outdoor media (bus shelters) in the cities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, which are big on Carnival. The Subway of Brasilia received posters and ad stickers of the campaign inside the trains and at train stations. Buses in Rio will be showing the video via AV media, and tourist buses in Foz do Iguazu will have campaign stickers covering the rear window. TV Globo will broadcast the video during the holidays and the Museum of Modern Art will organize Carnival events under the scope of the campaign during the holidays.
The campaign is signed by UN Women – HeForShe, and counts with the support of Avon, Atento, Itaipú Binacional, Subway Brasilia, Brasilia Cidadã, Museum of Modern Art and the Secretary of Policies for Women of the State of Bahia. The campaign was developed pro-bono by the advertising agency Heads Propaganda.