A black-and-white newscast from the ‘50s reports on the status of working women in the world—and it’s grim. The male anchor explains that the average working woman still makes less than the average working man; women have far fewer jobs in science, tech and math; at home, women’s caregiving and caretaking duties are triple those of their male partners.
During his presentation, his attire changes, as does the background set and the film itself (now in color!), bringing the broadcast to modern day—all in a single take. The only thing that remains the same, however, is the data the presenter delivers. The takeaway? The anachronistic stats aren’t from yesteryear—they reflect the lives of women today.
That’s the premise of a new International Women’s Day film from UN Women, created out of San Francisco agency Erich & Kallman. The PSA promotes the organization’s “Generation Equality” campaign, which aims to drive real action supporting women’s equality around the world across all spheres, including economic justice, sexual and reproductive health and more. Doug Walker of Caruso Company directed.
According to Erich & Kallman co-founder and chief creative officer Eric Kallman, the idea was inspired by current stats and facts about present-day working women. “We would be surprised by [them] and say to each other, ‘‘that sounds like it’s from 50 years ago’—but it wasn’t,” he says. “Putting a bunch of these facts together into one collective ‘report’ and taking it from past to present day, driving home the point that all of these things are true now, hopefully opens some eyes and makes people want to learn what they can do to help.”
Twenty-five years ago, governments around the world adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, an agenda to advance the status of women and girls around the world, but according to the UN, not one country in the world has achieved gender equality since then. In fact, the 2020 World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report found it could take just shy of a century to achieve gender parity at the current rate of progress.
“While there has been some progress on women’s rights and empowerment, it has not been deep enough or fast enough,” said Oisika Chakrabarti, chief of communications and advocacy a.i., UN Women in a statement. “The fact that we could still be watching the same news as our grandparents as this PSA shows, means that we simply have not seen enough progress. To bring change we need every individual, collective, organization, and country to be a game-changer. We are calling on everyone to be part of Generation Equality and to make gender equality a reality.”