BEIRUT: Women's rights organization KAFA (Enough Violence and Exploitation) launched an unusual campaign to encourage women to speak up against violence.
The organization released a YouTube video last week under the title “Driving Change - A very disturbing taxi ride.” The short video shows a woman driving a pink taxi and picking up other female passengers.
The driver’s GPS voice navigation starts off normally, giving her directions as per usual. However, to the surprise of the passengers, the pitch of the male voice starts to take on another tone when the driver does not comply with one of his directions.
“Turn left at the next turning. Turn left at the next turning. Did you not hear what I said? Listen to what I say!” the voice exclaims. The verbal abuse later gets worse, with name calling and further insults.
The reactions of the riders varied, with one of the comments saying, “Who the hell is this freak?” Another passenger commented, “Shouting like that does not make him a man. He is hiding behind his voice.”
KAFA explains the idea behind the video in its caption, saying it aims to encourage more women to speak up against violence and abuse.
“In order to encourage more women in Lebanon to speak up against violence we set up this real experiment with Banet Taxi's registered customers to get our message across,” KAFA said.
“The idea is simple: The more solidarity we build, the more women will speak up,” the caption added.
“The more women rise up, the more chance there is to stop abuse and demand better legal protection.”
The organization asked viewers to voice support for the campaign on social media via the hash tag #iwillspeakup.
Lebanese photographer Jocelyn Tawk was among those posting the hash tag, tweeting, “It's more powerful to speak up than to silently resent.”
Feedback on Facebook was equally positive with comments on the video such as “Loved it” and “Smart pub[licity]!”