“We the Peoples of the United Nations, determined to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small…”
United Nations Charter
UN Women Pakistan have launched a new campaign, #BeatMe, aimed at ending domestic and sexual abuse towards women in the country.
In a twist on typical anti-violence campaigns, #BeatMe showcases Pakistani women inviting men to beat them – at activities they as women excel at. The movement’s intention is to inspire women and to remind the world that “strong” is not a gendered word; that women are unbeatable.
The video reclaims different types of abuse by contrasting them against the strength of each of the women appearing in the video. Sana Bucha, a journalist, invites men to “Beat me with your words”, while Muniba Muzari, artist, writer and motivational speaker says “Beat me at standing tall”.
#BeatMe coincides with UN Women’s global initiative ‘16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence’, as part of the UN Secretary-General’s global campaign ‘UNiTE to End Violence Against Women’, which will run from the 25th November (International Day to End Violence Against Women) to 10th December (International Human Rights Day).
At least 1 in 3 women and girls are affected by violence against women globally, and justice for those responsible, and its victims, is often ambiguous. This campaign joins other UN Movements, such as #HeForShe, actress Emma Watson’s movement launched in September 2014, in championing women’s rights.
Whilst many support the campaign, it has been accused of plagiarising photographer Fahhad Rajper’s project ‘Try Beating Me Lightly’. Rajper realeased a statement via his Facebook page, which said:
“The moment I saw #BeatMe campaign, I did think it’s highly inspired by #TryBeatingMeLightly. I did that campaign for my women, the women I love… and the ones who can’t voice their opinions, it was solely to make them feel empowered…”
“As much as I like how #BeatMe is done, I think there [sic] lack of originality. UN Women Pakistan have done this to support a very good cause but sadly we’re part of a society where so called Inspiration has been there to blatantly others ideas and not crediting the artists at all.”
UN Pakistan has yet to respond to these claims, however praise continues to pour in for the campaign as the UNiTE movement kicked off five days ago.