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Vote for us. We’ll vote for you

KAFA Women’s Rights NGO

Issue 33 | December 2014

Agency

Leo Burnett Beirut

Creative Team

Creative Directors Rana Khoury Lea Salibi Caroline Farra Art Directors Christina Salibi Fabienne Weiszegger Jean-Georges Prince Ghassan Jawhar

Date

Spring 2014

Background

In Lebanon there was no law to protect women from domestic violence. In fact, domestic violence was a big taboo kept within a wall of silence.

Kafa was a leading NGO working towards "eradicating all forms of gender- based violence and exploitation."

For years, Kafa had been working on developing a draft law that would give women legal protection from domestic violence. However, the project had been buried within the workings of parliament.

Idea

On April 1st 2014, the Lebanese parliament had to meet to enact several new laws. Kafa seized the opportunity to get them to review the law against violence at the same time.

In Lebanon, many MPs had been in office for decades. It also so happened that the country was about to go to

the polls again and most of those MPs expected to be re-elected.

However, in Lebanon women constitute 52% of the electorate. In other words, they have enormous latent power.

The idea, then, was to threaten MPs with the one weapon that could actually hurt them. Votes.

There were only three days in which women could make their MPs aware that their votes were conditional: we will only vote for you if you pass the law against domestic violence.

A simple visual icon was created, featuring a red thumb-print with the statement: "Vote for us so we vote for you". (In Lebanon, illiterates had been able to vote by using their thumb-print in blue ink.)

A number of female TV presenters were asked to show their red thumbs on TV and to talk about the action. Opinion-formers were asked to vlog, blog and write about the issue, letting their MPs know "I will vote for you only if you vote for me."

Results

  • More than 22 million Twitter impressions in 2 weeks from 51 countries.
  • More than 20,000 physical and digital red thumbs gathered.
  • A 700% increase in online conversations about domestic violence.
  • A 350% increase in comments on Kafa's Facebook page.
  • A 23% increase in followers on Kafa's Twitter page.
  • 1.7 million USD in earned media.
  • 2 million people exposed to the campaign from the TV news coverage in a country of 4 million.
  • After the law was passed on April 1st at 12.45pm, for the first time in Lebanon's history a violent husband was arrested for committing a crime against his wife.

Our Thoughts

Beirut is one of the most extraordinary cities in the world. Every day it teeters on the edge of political oblivion. Under these circumstances, the Lebanese people insist on clinging to the pillars and posts of democracy before they get knocked away by extremists. It is inspiring to see how often agencies and their ideas are used in this vulnerable little country to protect the institutions that reflect and support the interests of the ordinary people.

Bechara Mouzannar and his teams do an amazing job, not just selling brands and services to Lebanese consumers, but selling them consideration, compassion and decency as well.

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