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The Story Behind The United Nations' Violence Against Women Campaign In Egypt

The United Nations recently released two videos in concurrence with their violence against women campaign. We speak to the team at FP7, who conceptualised the campaign, to find out more.

The United Nations' international campaign for violence against women has landed in Egypt with a tailor made campaign consisting of videos and billboard ads, in hopes of raising awareness towards the cause. Their latest releases are two video ads of well known fairy tales that take a different turn, and instead of ending in the typical "lived happily ever after," the stories depicted in the videos end instead in a rather tragic way for the women involved.

The videos both showcase two tales that start out as traditional stories from Egyptian culture and later take a turn to show you what happens behind the scenes of these love stories. The first video depicts an old fairy tale of a girl and boy that fall in love, get married, and live happily ever after - except this time, it's not so happy. The video shows the boy hitting the girl, and then apologising and promising that it will never happen again, but the narrator says that although the girl knows that it will be a recurrent situation, she stays silent and accepts it, hoping that one day her dream of living happily ever after with her loved one will come true.

The second video is of a girl called 'Yasmine' who is taking a bus to meet the man she loves 'Aladdin'. While on the bus the girl is sexually harassed and when she returns to her family and confides in them, they blame her clothing and her attitude. She accepts the blame, feeling abandoned and alone. 

We spoke to the team at FP7, who conceptualised the ideas behind the video campaigns, to get an idea of the thought process behind them and what they hoped to achieve. "The agency tried to showcase the harsh reality that victims of violence go through in a non traditional manner," explains Marwan Younis, FP7 Cairo's Creative Director, "Instead of sufficing with a generic slogan and a picture, the agency created a shocking fairytale that takes a massive turn of events." He continues by saying, "Either sexual harassment or domestic violence are very obvious problems that need a lot of attention. We hope that the message makes any kind of impact and helps in ending violence against women in Egypt, and will perhaps inspire other countries as well."

They advise everyone to talk about the issue openly and inspire victims to come out and share their stories, through Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms in an attempt to inspire a change in our cultural and behavioural values.