ELLE UK’s ‘More Women’ Campaign A Stark Reminder Of How Far We Have To Go To Reach Equality

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Well this video is certainly getting a lot of people talking! Elle Magazine UK have launched a campaign called #MoreWomen as part of their annual feminism issue, where they outline the need for more women specifically in industries which have a major impact on society and can influence change in a powerful way.

The video, made by Alex Holder and Alyssa Boni through RSA, shows a series of images of men and women in industries such as politics, media, and the military, but then the men are erased from the picture to show the stark reality of how outnumbered women are in many industries.

“There are too many instances where women are represented by a single female. In business, music, art and media, women rarely outnumber men. Why aren’t there #morewomen making it? There is room for more of us at the top. One woman’s success makes EVERY WOMAN STRONGER!” says the description of the video.

The idea of this short video is to create conversations around gender equality and find ways to make it happen. Although a quick look at the comments on the Youtube video will make you very disappointed in the way some people view feminism today.

“The story of how women in positions of strength continually support and empower each other is consistently ignored while the myth that we pit ourselves against each other perpetuates. We want to change this narrative in our Feminism issue and create a more positive conversation – to reflect the power of women, and to support and grow each other as we push for global equality,” said Elle magazine about this campaign.

But don’t just take the vivid imagery on face value, if you are looking for a more compelling reason to back up any fight for gender equality, you should take a look at this interesting study recently shared by activist organization Equality Now. Twenty years ago at the World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, 189 countries signed pledges to end discrimination and move toward more gender equal societies. How far have they come during the past two decades? Sadly, not far enough as you can see if you click here.

While the Beijing Declaration specifically urged countries to change discriminatory laws that would better protect and serve women from being victimized, if the legislative systems haven’t progressed much in 20 years, it’s not a good sign.

In the media, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender In Media has done extensive research on the representation of women and girls in all forms of entertainment and media, and together with UN Women released a report earlier in 2015 after looking at entertainment industries around the world. They found women are heavily absent compared to the visibility of men, and Geena is very adamant that this isn’t necessarily a sexist issue (i.e, it’s not just men’s fault), but it is a greater systemic problem that has been allowed to persist (by both men and women) for too long. Which is why presenting the issue is not only important, but cause for action.

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The way we see it, if ANY campaign is effective enough to stop women competing and instead start collaborating and supporting one another, it is a huge win. Our approach to encouraging women is to share the good news as well as the not-so-good. We believe in sharing data and also showing our readers what is possible by promoting the women who are breaking barriers, pushing aside any gender bias in order for them to get on with the work.

Elle magazine is encouraging women to share images of themselves with a group of female friends along with this pledge: ‘One woman’s success makes EVERY WOMAN STRONGER. More women for #morewomen #ELLEFeminism.’

The filmmakers believe the world needs to recognize that one woman at the top doesn’t mean equality has been reached, it is only the start.

“Token women are wheeled out constantly, but just because there is some female presence doesn’t mean we’ve got equality. The idea that there’s only room for one woman on the board, one woman on the panel show, one women on the main stage and one woman in the line up means women are constantly told we’re in competition with each other for that single place,” said Alex Holder.

“Elle’s #MoreWomen campaign is designed to address this by encouraging collaboration – we’re not in competition with each other, we refuse to believe there is only room for one woman and we firmly believe that one woman’s success makes every other woman stronger,” Alex continued.

We are ALL about that!

If you are looking for some additional inspiration relating to women who are forging new paths in traditionally male-dominated industries, check out the documentary ‘Pioneers in Skirts’ from award-winning filmmaker Ashley Maria, who wanted a way for future generations to grow up in a world where gender equality wasn’t an issue anymore. That is the dream, my friends, to live in a world where we don’t need to fight for equality, and our merit is all that is seen.

In the meantime, check out the video below, and be sure to take part in the campaign using the hashtags and sharing your photos.

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