Thursday 12 March 2009

Ring a bell, bang a pot, ask whether it's OK

Breaking the silence on violence may be taken literally these days. The Indian Bell Bajao campaign urges people to ring a bell when they witness violence against women. They can use a distinctive ding-dong for their mobile phone, downloadable from the Bell Bajao site. This reminds me of the South African soap opera Soul City, which has introduced a new form of community response to violence against women: pot-banging! A soul city episode shows neighbours leaving their homes and banging kitchen implements together to stop violence in the heroine's home. Apparently the practice has made its way into real life in South African townships. In a joint venture with the makers of these campaigns and a third edutainment specialist, Puntos de Encuentro, Oxfam Novib has documented using edutainment media for social change. Find it on the Oxfam KIC portal (URL below, link list).
Another new initiative against gender-based violence is consentissexy, a web-based project with students in South Africa. (I write it in one word because I don't want any anti-adult content filters to block my site!) The campaign may appear a tad too outspoken for very conservative societies, but its message is universal: in intimate relationships, no consent is not OK! And I find the design delightful, with its appealing, positive messages. The picture above is lifted from the campaign site.

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