These empowering videos are bringing us together: making us think, prompting discussion and creating change...
With March hosting both International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, it is no surprise that the past few weeks have seen our Facebook and Twitter newsfeeds explode with back-to-back content to inspire the female masses. From unequal gender roles and honour killings to child marriage and female genital mutilation: you name it, someone will have covered it.
Features are persuasive but nothing gets emotions flowing like a poignant video with an important message. And with new content emerging each day (some empowering, some chilling, some downright disturbing), these videos really do bring us women together, highlighting important issues and prompting long-overdue discussion.
Here are some of the most powerful videos from the past few weeks alone…
UNICEF – This Looks Like A Storybook Wedding. Except For One Thing...
Children’s charity UNICEF released this haunting video earlier this week as part of a new programme to eliminate child marriage across the globe. Estimating that 15 million girls under the age of 18 will be forced into marriage this year, and 41,000 each day, this video aims to shock. Laid out like a ‘storybook wedding’, the video predominantly captures beautiful shots of wedding prep, and it is only at the altar when her veil is removed that we realise she is just a child, clearly forced to wed a much older man. One word: chilling.
FGM Survivor Tells Her Story
This video, released earlier this week, tells a disturbing account of one woman’s experience of female genital mutilation. Narrated by an FGM survivor, the video follows her story: how she went to visit her aunt in India at just 7 years old, how that same aunt (who was a doctor by the way) had bribed her with a Toblerone and had cornered her, performing the ritual cutting with no anaesthetic and without the consent of her parents. Somehow the victim had managed to block out all memories of the event and it wasn’t until she was sitting in an anthropology seminar years later that the topic of FGM triggered memories that she had suppressed since childhood. This is a shocking story, but an incredibly powerful one.
Always #LikeAGirl - Girl Emojis
Always sanitary towel brand launched this video ad last week, highlighting the role of gendered emojis in reinforcing social stereotypes. The video features young girls calling for female emojis to be portrayed more progressively. ‘There are no girls in the profession emojis…unless you consider being a bride to be a profession’ one girl explained, whilst another spent the entire video searching for a single female in the sports emoticon section. It’s not a tearjerker but this video certainly makes you think.
Ariel India - Why is Laundry Only A Mother's Job? Dads #ShareTheLoad
The laundry detergent company released this advert a few weeks back and well, it has already gone viral. The tearjerker of a video (happy tears, we promise!) challenges the deeply engrained gender roles that structure India and society in general, making us question what has become normal. The powerful video follows an elderly Indian man visiting his adult daughter and her family, witnessing the unequal gender roles that he has helped to enforce and perpetuate. Urging men to #ShareTheLoad, this ad raises the question ‘why is laundry only a mother’s job?’ Not only a great message, this ad is on John Lewis’ level in terms of heart warming sentiment.
Rev. Cynthia Meyer Coming Out To Congregation
The female Kansas priest came out as gay to her congregation just over a month ago - and is now facing a church trial because of it. Announcing the news to her parishioners, Meyer declared that after 25 years as a pastor, it was time to serve as her ‘genuine self, a woman who loves and shares [her] life with another woman’. Luckily her inspirational speech was caught on camera and has gone viral, inspiring all of us to overcome our barriers.
Eurovision Song Contest: Ukraine's Entry: 1944
This recent video is Ukraine’s official entry into the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. Jamala (Susana Jamaladinova) is representing her country, singing 1944: a political song describing Stalin’s mass deportation of 240,000 Crimean Tatars. ‘The main message is to remember and to know this story,’ explained Jamala who had five of her family members deported, ‘when we know, we prevent’. Obviously deportation does not just affect women, but Jamala’s defiance of Eurovision’s rules on political lyrics is pretty inspiring. You go, girl.