Today 63 million girls across the world are not in school. Every day, 37,000 girls under the age of 18 get married. The illiterate population is 67% female. Women, on average, earn 24% less than men. There are only seven females CEOs in the FTSE 100.
It’s time we started a movement for change. So when Sarah Brown, the Founder and President of global children’s charity Theirworld, asked us to create a campaign that would expose the obvious – and less obvious - codes of gender inequality, we saw an opportunity to change the attitudes that prevent women and girls around the world from achieving their full potential.
Forming part of WPP’s commitment to Common Ground, the unprecedented industry-wide pledge to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the campaign is in collaboration with other WPP agencies, including Kantar Added Value, Kantar Futures, MEC and VML.
#RewritingTheCode draws a parallel between embedded social values and the hidden codes that define the cyber world: both shape what we see and how we act. Using the lexicon and symbols of digital codes, the campaign questions gender stereotypes and asks the audience to consider the cultural codes that hide beneath the surface of our daily lives.
A democratic, minimal design style inspired by the visual language of coding was employed, allowing the fact-and statistics-based copy to take centre stage. The text is intentionally un-designed and open for endless reinterpretations, allowing the audience to own the message.
The success of the campaign relied on it becoming social and interactive: a movement that would mobilise people to spot gender stereotypes and take action. We developed an easily replicable hand gesture that mirrors the digital coding ‘embedded’ symbols, allowing people to call out inequality or simply show their support for the campaign.