UN population fund reports that Montenegro, one of the least populated countries in Europe, is one of the top 5 countries in the world with gender disparity.
Due to strong traditional and patriarchal society, women are pressured into having sons over daughters.
With the increasing availability and access to genetic pre-natal tests, rates of selective abortions of female fetuses are rising.
This is a wide spread practice and open secret in society. Implications are obvious: Girls are unwanted in Montenegro.
Women’s Right Center, NGO in Montenegro, dedicated to promotion of women’s rights and gender equality, kicked of a campaign called #Unwanted, to confront traditional society, influence a change of legislature and prevent abusing of genetic prenatal tests that are causing sex-selective abortions.
We wanted to start a change in the Montenegrin society. And we did. With #Unwanted song.
Describe the cultural/social/political climate in your region and the significance of your campaign within this context
DESCRIBE THE CULTURAL/SOCIAL/POLITICAL CLIMATE IN YOUR REGION AND THE SIGNIFICANCE OF YOURCAMPAIGN WITHIN THIS CONTEXT (200 WORDS)
In the world where we are talking on the global level of women empowerment, in Montenegro we need to talk about the fact that women are pressured from society into having boys instead of girls. Strong patriarchal tradition puts sons at a premium, son preference manifests itself in many ways, ranging from different allocation of household resources, and inheritance rights to neglect of girl children but as well widely spread abuse of genetic prenatal test and selective abortions.
In Montenegro, land with only 620.000 inhabitants, demographic picture is changing rapidly and now we have 12% less girls born, while world’s average is 3%. Al Jazeera reports that in just 7 years in such small populated country we will have 10.000 less women than man.
#Unwanted song not only raised awareness on such a sensitive topic, through carefully chosen medium that spoke to broad public, but provoked a meaningful action, resulting in petition presented to the Parliament, asking for a change of policy that will prevent abuse of prenatal test. #Unwanted initiative was supported by the Government of Montenegro.
Describe the creative idea
To give the voice to #Unwanted girls of Montenegro and confront traditional society we have created the #Unwanted song. For their voices to be heard, we have used Eurovision as a platform and put #Unwanted song to compete for the representative of Montenegro at Montevizija, official national finals of Euronsong 2018. and one of the most watched and loved TV programs in the country. The lyrics of #Unwanted song portray the unspoken words of Unwanted girls and their rights to belong to this world.
The core of our idea was to steer the conversation about the issue of selective abortions in a manner least expected and to serve the topic on the table of conservative country in the form everyone is so fond of: music.
We wanted to start a change in the society and we did. With one song.
Describe the strategy
Women’s Right Center wanted to make revel open secret, confront traditional society and make an impact with right event, right message and right person. Our strategy was to capture the Eurovision as a platform.
To use Eurovision national contest, as one of the most watched TV programs to set a light on a subject of #unwanted girls in unexpected way and torch the social conversation by creating an #Unwanted song as tool that will speak to the our target audience - the whole nation. The subject of #unwanted directed the conversation with subject of sex selective abortions covered in all media for the first time openly, as well as engaging the public figures and influencers to support the cause, resulting in opening the subject in public as well as igniting people to react and action by signing the petition to change the law.
Describe the execution
To give our message different kind of voice WRC partnered with famous young pop singer Katarina Bogicevic and hit maker and songwriter Aleksandra Milutinovic to create a song for national Eurovision song contest. #Unwanted was not just a pop song it gave voice to the #unwanted girls rising the issue in traditional society. When the song entered the final competition, 30 second song teaser was released to the public followed by series of interviews talking about the issue, which created the interest of all media covering the issue of selective abortions and the petition to change the law for the first time openly. Major public figures, ranging from music stars, actors to football players as well as influencers on the night of national Eurovision contest, FEB 17th, showed open support and invited people to vote for the song as well as sign the petition to change the law.
Describe the results/impact
Online petition demanding to change the legislature gathered more than 6000 signatures in record time, leading the Government of Montenegro to support the change of law.
More than 80% of total population reached through earned media
More than 70% of 18+ population reached through digital channels
More than 50% of total population reached via social influencers’ pages
More than 1,5 million Twitter impressions
Over 2.700.000 impressions in digital
Earned vs Paid media - 104 times higher
Major public figures and influencers supported the #Uwanted by sharing the song and petition link including Eurovision winner Marija Serifovic sharing and supporting the song.
#Unwanted song became the hit on radio stations and unofficial anthem of girls in Montenegro.
#Unwanted campaign reached not only Montenegro, but also more than 20 countries
International media coverage from regional and international press covering the campaign.