Globally, a staggering 85% of women have reported witnessing online violence, and nearly 40% have experienced it personally. Women, girls, racial, ethnic and other historically marginalized communities are the most likely to have their images abused online and subjected to demeaning non-consensual sexual acts. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) — the UN agency known for advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights, but less well known for its work to eliminate gender-based violence online — wanted to do something about it.
In most societies, those who infringe copyright face legal penalties and swift removal of content by digital platforms, while survivors of online violence face barriers and have few legal rights.
The shocking reality: If women’s bodies were a corporate logo, or a piece of copyrighted IP, they would have more rights to protect themselves online than they currently do as a human being.
UNFPA decided to highlight this global problem with a simple yet novel idea. To push social platforms and content sharing sites to take the abusive use of female bodies as seriously as copyright infringements, together with UNFPA, we launched ⓑodyright.
Central to the bodyright campaign is the ⓑ symbol, a new copyright for the human body.
We designed a multi-platform approach that leveraged this new symbol across all of the materials to increase education and awareness and drive interest to action. We created an online petition to policymakers and big tech through Global Citizen that launched with an interactive social campaign that leveraged social tools for online users to demand protections for their bodies and images from online exploitation and violence.
The ⓑodyright symbol has received global media recognition, with activations across US, EMEA, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific, and grabbed the attention of multiple celebrity influencers. In Its first few months of launch, the campaign has resulted In:
- Shared by UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador Ashley Judd (532k followers) with probono promotion by UNFPA influencers Deja Foxx (47.8k followers), Meadow Walker (3.6m followers), Rita Ora (16.1m followers), Aytaç Şaşmaz (3.8m followers)
- Organically shared by celebrity influencer Sharon Stone (2.9m followers) and Paul Walker’s team reshared Meadow Walkers ⓑodyright post (14.3m followers) The online petition has successfully hit over 11,300 signatures and is on track to reach 20,000
- The campaign video is officially UNFPA’s most watched video. Reaching two million views across all channels and reaching over 13,000 organic views on YouTube
- The ⓑodyright webpage has achieved record breaking levels for UNFPA, clocking 1.7 million views (300k views in Spanish and 185k views in French) and an average viewing time of 01:40 mins
- 532 pieces of coverage across online news/ blogs (and counting). Online highlights include media exclusive with Teen Vogue, international coverage from Agence France-Presse which was syndicated globally, and coverage in leading outlets such as Independent and France 24
- Broadcast interviews included Sky News, Cheddar, Newsy, BBC World Service, and mentions across BBC Radio 4’s Today
Estimated global reach across social and online news channels