Manchester Mayor’s Office launches gender-based violence #IsThisOK campaign

Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has created a campaign to educate men and boys about the gender-based violence that affects women and girls, as the precursor to a wider strategy on the issue to be launched next year.

The #IsThisOK campaign aims to highlight all forms of sexual harassment against women and girls
The #IsThisOK campaign aims to highlight all forms of sexual harassment against women and girls

GMCA commissioned EY3 Media to storyboard, script and produce the film, which sits at the centre of the campaign and uses local actors.

The #IsThisOK campaign aims to educate men and boys about all the forms of gender-based violence that affect women and girls, from 'everyday' street harassment through to sexual assault, domestic violence and murder – all of which the GMCA says are deeply rooted in gender inequality rather than being the fault of the victim.

The film focuses primarily on street harassment and general attitudes toward women and girls.

In it, men are shown to catcall and inappropriately touch a woman as she attempts to go for a run. One tells her to “smile”, before becoming angry that she has ignored him. At the end of the video, she asks “Is this OK?”

As part of the project – which precedes the launch of Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham’s Gender-Based Violence Strategy, due in 2022 – the GMCA comms and engagement team worked with women’s groups including the Manchester Right to Walk Campaign and the Pankhurst Centre.

Sarah Keaveny, head of comms at the GMCA, told PRWeek: “Given the time that has passed since the launch of the strategy, we didn’t want to wait until 2022 before kick-starting the conversation in Greater Manchester. That’s when the idea of a video came about that would challenge thinking and start discussions. That is the aim of this campaign – to get men and boys thinking about their attitudes and actions.

“It was important for us to try and change the rhetoric that it is not for women and girls to behave differently to escape unwanted attention and get the message across that it’s for men and boys to change their behaviour.”

The campaign film has been rolled out across all GMCA social media channels, Greater Manchester networks and the media. In 2022 the team intends to push it out to schools, colleges and community settings.

All images: GMCA


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