UN Women, Bookshop.org, human rights

Authors: Kate Savin, Jece Shunmugam, Jack Maycock
  • Posted on: December 7, 2020

Read on for a handpicked selection of the good, the bad and the one to get involved in in the world of social impact communications. This week, we’re highlighting UN Women, Bookshop.org, and human rights.

| NAILED IT: Standing up to gender-based violence

Violence against women has been on the rise in 2020 after the pandemic forced many into the confines of abusive environments. In this time, 243 million women and girls were abused by an intimate partner, and domestic abuse killings more than doubled in the UK

So for the UN’s 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, UN Women has created a bold campaign, exposing the legal gaps that contribute to violence against women.

The shock factor of using these illogical laws — where a male can legally commit the act, but organisations can’t legally show it — is a great way to mobilise people in these target countries to take action and end the legal protections for gender-based violence. 

| ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: Don’t buy at Bookshop.org

Just before Lockdown 2.0, we covered an exciting new online venture, Bookshop.org, who were marketing themselves as the fairer alternative to Amazon. They claimed to support independent book shops by giving them an online selling platform whilst ensuring they got as much profit from each book sale as they would in-store.

This week, it’s come to light that Bookshop has been misleading customers and businesses alike. A letter sent to the Booksellers Association (BA), the industry trade group, and seen by the New Statesman, highlighted “aggressive” marketing tactics by the platform, discontent among booksellers, and concerns about the BA’s “very fast” endorsement of the site. It’s been revealed that sellers are in fact losing out on profit when customers buy via Bookshop.org rather than in-store – more so than if those sellers partnered with Amazon. 

Now that lockdown is over and with this story still unfolding, we’d recommend getting yourself to an actual local bookshop for all your Christmas shopping. 

| ONE TO WATCH: Let’s reimagine human rights

Credit: Fine Acts

Reimagining Human Rights is a creative competition headed up by the amazing Fine Acts and the team behind Hope-Based Communication. Their aim? To create a new and hopeful way of visualising and thinking about human rights. The driving force behind the competition is the belief that positive communications work.

Human rights have traditionally been seen through a siloed lens, often relying on stark images of abuse and violation. But in a new world, forever influenced by Covid-19, promising a hopeful, better future is needed more than ever. As the team behind Reimagining Human Rights believe, it can do more to unite people. 

You can view some of the submissions here, and there’s still time to submit a piece before the 15th December deadline!