Avon Products Inc. has launched a campaign calling on men and women worldwide to #SpeakOut and put an end to pejorative words and phrases used to silence women.
Launched ahead of International Women’s day on March 8, the campaign is in response to growing evidence of a gender divide, with the World Economic Forum’s 2020 report highlighting that gender parity is 99.5 years off.
Through conversations with its network of five million representatives, Avon has discovered words in different languages and cultures that are used to describe, criticize and negatively stereotype women. For example, being called “Lippy” in English, “Vorlaut” in German or “Mandona” in Spanish, to name but a few.
Avon’s campaign, which will run throughout 2020, calls on people to share their stories and the words and language they want to reclaim by posting a proud, lippy selfie on their social media channels, using the hashtag #SpeakOut. In addition, Avon will collate these stories, creating a global gallery celebrating women’s stories from across the world.
Avon has also pledged to donate $10 million in 2020 to important global causes, including education, gender violence and breast cancer. The donation builds on Avon’s long-standing commitment to women across the world, helping them to lead safe and healthy lives. Avon and the Avon Foundation have raised and donated over $1bn to date supporting NGOs across the world.
“Avon has been a champion for women for over 130 years, says Angela Cretu, CEO at Avon. “At Avon, every day is women’s day, but on International Women’s Day we take the opportunity to invite men and women all over the world to join us in speaking out about the barriers which might stop women from having an equal share of voice. International Women’s Day is also a moment to celebrate women, and we’ll be sharing stories of inspiring women from all walks of life from across the world.”
Initiated over Avon’s social media channels across the world, the campaign will be a platform for women of all backgrounds to share their stories, celebrate and be inspired by others.
To kickstart the campaign, Avon is hosting a panel discussion highlighting the language and stereotypes used to silence, embarrass and discourage women from speaking out. Following the discussion, and events being held across markets, Avon will create a new Code of Conduct which challenges the use of language or content sharing which might prevent women from speaking out.
The Speak Out campaign will culminate with the first Avon #SpeakOut Awards in November. The awards will recognize individuals and organizations who have helped women find their voices or shared the stories of those who are not able to share their own.