'Women not a source of temptation'
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WIZO campaign: Which ad most damaging to women?

On International Women's Day, March 8, WIZO will choose ad most violent towards women. Campaign manager: 'Woman is not something we eat and then throw the leftovers in garbage'

Women's International Zionist Organization (WIZO) launched a national campaign Wednesday to find the advertisement that is the most violent towards women that has been put out in the past year. The advertisement chosen will be announced at a ceremony on March 8th in honor of International Women's Day.


The idea behind the campaign came after the organization officials received numerous appeals in recent months from women asking that WIZO intervene to remove advertisements that, in their opinion, encouraged violence towards women.


Suggestions for advertisements to be put into the pool will be received from women and men from the Israeli public and will then be examined and rated by a committee of professionals.


"We decided to launch such a public campaign because, as I have, many women have grown weary of encountering countless advertisements everyday that turn us into sex objects and instigate violence towards us," said Ronit Ehrenfroind-Cohen, director of WIZO's department for the status of women and manager of the campaign.


'Ads that must be banned'

Ehrenfroind-Cohen brings the example of one advertisement from this year that particularly miffed women's organizations, who, after an outcry in the public and in the media, succeeded in getting it banned. "Agadir (a popular hamburger chain) made an undisputedly horrific advertisement in which a woman is portrayed being ready to be eaten and swallowed alongside pieces of meat sold at the restaurant.


"In this case we succeeded in getting the advertisement off the air, but that still does not provide a solution for the profusion of other advertisements rife with pornographic messages," she said.


WIZO reported that the campaign is intended to put public pressure on commercial companies that choose to advertise their products by portraying women in a damaging way.


Ehrenfroind-Cohen continued, "This week someone called me to complain about a billboard for Yoplait that portrayed a women in front of red windows, the prostitute section of Holland, with the ad's catch phrase written underneath – 'You can't resist the temptation.'"


"These are precisely the advertisements that must be banned, even by law, because once one uses women like this, one also permits sexual violence towards us. It must be seen to that all the advertising agencies 'resist the temptation.' Otherwise, they transmit, knowingly or unknowingly, messages that encourage violence against women.


"As well, it is important that business owners in Israel remember that a woman is not a source and is not a model of temptation or food; a woman is not an object – you don't eat her and throw her in the garbage," summed up Ehrenfroind-Cohen.


פרסום ראשון: 01.29.09, 15:07
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