MILAN — United Colors of Benetton and the United Nations Population Fund are launching a global campaign to protect against unintended pregnancies, called Power Her Choices, emphasizing women’s rights to decide freely whether and when to have children. It is to be unveiled at the London Summit on Family Planning on Tuesday, cohosted by the U.K. government, UNFPA and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“Millions of women and adolescent girls are still waiting for access to modern contraceptives,” said Natalia Kanem, UNFPA’s acting executive director. “While we have reached thirty million more women over the past five years, thanks to the Family Planning 2020 initiative, we need to step up our commitments, expand our partnerships and broaden our reach to ensure that no one is left behind.”
The Power Her Choices campaign is conceived by Fabrica, Benetton Group’s research center on communications, and the main campaign image features a light bulb in the shape of a womb. “It’s a metaphor of how the work of UNFPA can help spark a new awareness in young women worldwide,” said Carlo Tunioli, Fabrica’s chief executive officer. “Many girls, especially in developing countries, must be able to take control of their lives and have access to contraceptives.”
With the goal to raise awareness about family planning, the campaign is meant to gain additional partners to commit to this issue, as well.
The campaign also includes a light installation in which lit bulbs flash phrases. One appears to read “I am pregnant,” but, as a viewer approaches the installation, more light bulbs flicker and turn on, showing additional words that reveal the underlying message: “I am not ready to be pregnant.” With different messages, the installation will be documented in a video and a number of GIFs to be shared on social media.
According to data released by the Italian fashion group, today, more than 214 million women lack access to modern contraceptives. In 2016, an estimated 770,000 girls, some as young as 10 years old, became mothers, curbing and affecting their health and future. In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, up to 25 percent of all young women leave school because of unintended pregnancies.
The London Summit on Family Planning is bringing together governments, institutions and stakeholders to move toward the goal of enabling 120 million additional women to gain access to modern contraception by 2020.
Among Benetton‘s socially conscious projects, in March the group celebrated International Women’s Day by launching #UnitedByHalf, a campaign promoting gender equality.
Challenging social stereotypes around the role of Indian women, the campaign, which first debuted in India on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, features images of couples portrayed as equal partners. For example, a picture shows a wife with her husband both holding a talwar, India’s traditional curved sword.
The campaign is part of Benetton Group’s “Women Empowerment Program,” a social sustainability initiative aimed at boosting women’s empowerment in the world by focusing on five priorities — sustainable livelihood; non-discrimination and equal opportunities; quality education; health care, and fighting against violence.