Understanding Culture
Protecting Human Rights
A. Obaid

UNFPA Executive Director
Gender Equity Human Rights

Sierra Leone

Laying the groundwork

Starting off right
Bulding in sustainability
Caring for the individual
Gaining support through advocacy
Popular culture
The media
Local activists
The Projects

Be creative in raising awareness
A wide variety of innovative approaches can capture public attention. Candlelight vigils, workshops in local schools, and television and radio programmes using strongly symbolic language and images are among the ways that project personnel reached tens of thousands of people in Romania. Typically, the campaigns were tied to local holidays or festivals or to international campaigns, such as 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence. In one such campaign, 2,000 flowers, each containing a message about nonviolence, were handed out to men on street corners by well-known female personalities, including heads of local ministries, actors and doctors. Another campaign, called This hand will never hurt you, was launched on Valentines Day. It asked young men and women at a local club to each trace an outline of their hand on a piece of paper and then write a love message on the inside of the hand. The campaign was subsequently expanded to reach political and cultural figures through events at city hall, the police department, courts of law, political party headquarters, high schools and other public venues. Active involvement by the private sector can lend added professionalism and resources to awareness-raising efforts. In Turkey, UNFPA teamed up with a private media company in launching a public information campaign, and also garnered pro-bono support from advertising agencies, public relations firms and other companies to hone and disseminate its message.


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