What do you think about when you think of the worldwide search engine, Google? I’ll tell you the first thing that came to my mind when I thought of Google; answers. Answers to all or any one question I might have. Tell me this, when you thought of Google, did you think of gender inequality? Did you think of sexist attitudes against women? The United Nations found some interesting results.
The United Nations started a powerful campaign using Google that showed and presented gender inequality. What they did was place pictures of women from all around the world and set them as the Google search page. The search bar was placed across their mouths as if to silence them. The results were shocking. Researchers typed in statements like: “women should” and “women cannot” and the autocomplete suggestions were pure, solid examples that gender inequality is still very much alive. The autocomplete statements were as followed: “women should stay at home,” “women need to be put in their place,” “women cannot be trusted,” and the list goes on and on to the point of an autocomplete statement of: “women shouldn’t have rights.” The branch of the United Nations that focuses on gender equality use these four-image series to showcase the “world’s sweeping, misogynistic attitudes” towards women. The PSAs were placed and distributed by UN women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The goal of the ads was to be nothing but a “wakeup call” and in “hope that the message will travel far.”
Yes, the world has come a long way when thought about women’s rights and women’s places among society but the views and opinions of women’s places still remain in contact. The United Nations does a fantastic job of portraying these worldwide sexist attitudes that are still present. Sometimes, indeed, more is heard from no words spoken. These ads do just that. There is not a woman standing on a platform voicing her opinions and wants, rather, it is the actions of those all around the world that are displayed for all to see. The message of this United Nations campaign will be heard, and it will be carried as well.
Hannah Bay Snider