It’s amazing how much more powerful something can be when you change the context of the situation.
In an effort to bring attention to the problem of child brides in places like the Middle East, India, and parts of the Developing World, Plan Norway created a fictional website and blog about a 12-year old Norwegian girl marrying a man 25 years her senior.
In a matter of weeks the site was viewed over 500,000 times and social media views tipped the scales beyond 2 million. In a country of about 5 million and the website not being translated into any other languages, the reach of this public awareness campaign was a big success. In fact, some people called the police and child services!
Just be changing the nationality and geography of the situation, the entire issue of child brides in the world took on a whole new look to the people of Norway.
“Plan Norway secretary general Olaf Thommessen says that rather than show girls from Bangladesh or Tanzania that were actually affected by these unfair marriage practices, the point was to put the issue into a context that Norwegians could relate to. And to shock them into action, the goal being to spread the word on social and encourage people to sponsor girls through Plan.”
It’s amazing how differently we react to these social issues when we frame the victim in our own culture and think of them as being the same race as ourselves.
You can learn more (if you can read Norwegian) and #stoppbrylleupt on the Stopp Bryllupet website.