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.
“Women’s safety and gender equality issues have always been very close to our hearts and we promote them through the Benetton Women Empowerment Program, a long-term initiative to support women’s rights worldwide,” said Benetton India chief executive officer and managing director Sundeep Chugh. “#UnitedByHalf is not only a call for equal opportunities for women in all walks of life but it also urges men to acknowledge the other half of the country, or rather the world, and accept them as equal partners. We have successfully launched the first phase of the campaign and believe the campaign has touched the lives of many. We continue to build momentum on this Women’s Day and celebrate women and men as equal partners.”
After Italy, India is the second-biggest market for Benetton, which is particularly popular among men in the area. This led to the region being the target of the #UnitedByHalf campaign.
“We’re proud to be working on direct projects to improve the lives of women in developing countries but with a major presence in India, we want to do more,” said Chiara Mio, who leads Benetton Group’s Sustainability program and all its Women Empowerment initiatives. “This new campaign takes our message of women empowerment directly into one of our biggest global markets, notably for men’s wear.”
Benetton Group on Friday revealed the appointment of James McArthur as a board member. During his career McArthur held several top roles in the fashion, luxury and retail businesses. He has served, at separate times, as chief executive officer of Harrods, Balenciaga and Anya Hindmarch, and, at Gucci Group from 2000 to 2007, he held the role of executive vice president.