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Beirut

Leo Burnett Beirut Fights for Women’s Safety in “Safety For Safekeepers”

The work reveals a startling truth: women work tirelessly protect others, and yet they themselves are unprotected.

In the midst of a grueling pandemic, combined with the August 4 explosion that rocked Beirut killing hundreds, women are working on the frontlines to keep others safe and healthy; their safety, however, is challenged from more intimate sources, weathering domestic abuse, sexual harassment and violence in a patriarchal society.

Amid so many other pressing challenges, women’s safety remains a core societal issue; to call attention to it, Leo Burnett Beirut and Abaad—an independent organization advocating for gender equality in the MENA region—developed “Safety For Safekeepers.”

Timed to UN System’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, the campaign makes clear that safe women make for a truly safe country; without this security, all else falls apart. Spotlighted in this campaign are sixteen frontline workers, local women whose strength protected those around them in a country that has never guaranteed their safety.

The women at the frontlines demonstrate this inspirational fortitude, but the campaign also shines light on the quotidian violence against women in “Baklava Got Legs”, created with content creator and artist Remie Akl.

“Baklava” – for dessert-lovers, a sweet treat to be enjoyed, but for Lebanese women, this verbal catcall used by men conjures fear, a quickened pace on the walk home, keys in hand. In this provocative digital spot, Akl captures the daily threats imposed on women. This impactful piece struck a chord throughout the country; within three days of launching on Instagram, the video received nearly 3.5M views.

With the help of Akl—and empowering real-life stories of Safekeepers—Leo Burnett Beirut and Abaad bring this conversation to the fore of national conversation, taking one step closer to ending violence against women.

January 29, 2021