The industry-led coalition convened by UN Women launched "Say Nothing, Change Nothing" at Cannes Lions 2023, a global campaign to build awareness around harmful stereotypes and more specifically bystander behaviour in society. It also aims to provide guidance and resources to enable people to proactively take action against harmful stereotypes.
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The launch follows research conducted by Ipsos across Brazil, South Africa, Turkey, the UK and the US which found that stereotypes people experience most frequently are based on gender (57%), race and ethnicity (52%) sexual orientation (45%) and disability (45%), with nearly two-thirds (63%) of respondents saying it has become a bigger problem in recent years.
According to the survey, 73% of people said they regularly see or hear stereotyping yet less than a third (30%) will frequently speak up in disagreement with it. Half (50%) of respondents believed the reason why people don't speak up or disagree when they encounter stereotyping was to avoid escalating the situation, while 41% thought it was because they don't know how to take a constructive stand.
The campaign is accompanied by three short films which highlight the most common stereotypes around gender, disability and race. They show everyday situations where a perpetrator inflicts a stereotype while a group of bystanders remain silent.
The Unstereotype Alliance also released the Unstereotype 101 guide which explains how people can safely speak out against harmful stereotypes and ways to become ‘upstanders rather than bystanders’.