Sri Lanka’s Women in Need organization and BBDO have partnered on a campaign designed to call attention to the major problem with sexual harassment on public transportation there.
According to a study by UNFPA quoted in the campaign, “a staggering 90% of women have been subjected to sexual harassment on buses and trains” – while only 4% report it.
This has given rise the Women in Need launching the ‘2six4’ app that helps women contact their friends and the police when confronted with a problem.
The app allows women in when to send out a message to selected contacts while also connecting them to local law enforcement with just the click of a button.
As part of the campaign they collaborated with a famous local Viridu singer, Suranga Kavee and created a song that carries a strong message for predators lurking in buses and trains. It also encouraged bystanders to come forward and help. Viridu is a popular style of music that takes narrative poetry and storytelling and puts it to music.
To further add impact to the message, Suranga and other Viridu singers performed the song live on buses and trains – belting out lyrics such as “Let’s stop harassment and protect our women.”
“Using Viridu as a medium we spread awareness about the issue and also gave people a solution in the form of an app, at their fingertips,” said a release.
In addition to the musical front, the campaign also sought to address the lack of legal protection in the country by initiating a petition aimed at the minister of transport to create stronger laws to fight the injustices committed against women on a daily basis.
You can listen to the music here, on Sound Cloud.
Advertising Agency: BBDO Lanka, Sri Lanka
Managing Director: Santosh Menon
Creative Chairperson: Ruchi Sharma
Senior Art Director:Rogger Kenneth Schales
Acd: Gihan Rodrigo, Chanuka Wijayasinghe
Agency Producer: Laungston Costa
Viridu Singer: Suranga Kavee
Senior Creative: Ameya Mone
Junior Sinhala Writer:Kasuni Chandrasena
Senior Planner:Chanithi Gunasekera
Junior Account Executive:Lambodran Ramanan
Final Artist:Sampath Chaminda
Art Director:Akila Harison