Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Campaign in England Targets Abusive Attitudes

A new education campaign in Wales is taking on the same challenge as this blog: trying to help the public connect every day behaviors that are demeaning to or dismissive of women to a culture that perpetuates violence against those women.

A TV advert shows "abusive" behaviour towards a woman, including being leered at and enduring sexist comments.

Social Justice Minister Carl Sargeant said while that could seem harmless to men, women can feel threatened.

Welsh Women's Aid said tackling "widespread social attitudes" was crucial.

The advert shows a gang of men in a van sounding their horn and gesturing at the woman in the street, a male office colleague ogling her, and two strangers in a bar making suggestive remarks as she passes.

The video ends with her being followed down a dark street by another man, with the headline One Step Too Far.

It then asks: "To you it's nothing, but it all adds up. Where does 'harmless' end and 'abusive' begin?"

The Welsh Assembly Government said the campaign aimed to "stamp out unacceptable attitudes and behaviour towards women before it leads to more violent forms of abuse".

Mr Sargeant said: "Whilst the odd comment or gesture may seem harmless enough, to the woman on the receiving end they can feel threatening and abusive.

"Any behaviour that intimidates a woman should not be tolerated. If the campaign makes people stop and think then it will have served its purpose."

Campaigners say social attitudes towards woman must be challenged Paula Hardy, chief executive of Welsh Women's Aid, said the campaign linked "everyday behaviours which demean women (and the attitudes underlying these behaviours) with the epidemic social problem of violence against women.

"The link is essentially gender inequality - which the assembly government now recognises as both a cause and a consequence of violence against women."
Click through to the BBC here to watch the ad.

1 comment:

frogs said...

This campaign in England is, as mentioned in your first sentence, is actually in WALES.
Its a great campaign. Well done Welsh Assembly Government for stimulating this much needed social debate.

Hope teh debate leads to lasting change.