Using social media to engage supporters in documenting their acts of solidarity

Collage of images submitted by campaign supporters

Men submit photos of themselves dressed as women to the “Kurd Men for Equality” Facebook page to support women’s rights.

The police forces of Marivan, Iran, punished a criminal convicted of domestic abuse by forcing him to wear traditional Kurdish women’s clothing. This punishment was meant to be a form of public humiliation. However, many men felt that the punishment was derogatory towards women and began a Facebook campaign to tell the Iranian authorities that “being a woman is not a tool to humiliate or punish anyone.”

The Kurd Men for Equality Facebook page explains the campaign and features pictures that men from Iran and all over the world have submitted in support of the message. In the pictures, the men wear women’s clothing, ranging from traditional Kurdish dress to Muslim headscarves to fancy party dresses and makeup. In this way, the humiliating punishment has been transformed into an opportunity for men to show their support for and solidarity with the women in their communities.

Aljazeera and GlobalVoices

Image: Facebook

New Tactics in Human Rights does not advocate for or endorse specific tactics, policies or issues.

What we can learn from this tactic: 

Campaigns that use photos from supporters to build solidarity, such as the Kurd Men for Equality campaign, benefit from the use of social media because it is focused on the sharing of images. This campaign's use of Facebook allows their supporters to show their solidarity without having to leave their house, and also to instantly see the support of others - supporters 'like' and 'share' posted photos and can share their own.

While the message of the campaign is no joke, the images are light-hearted and entertaining. Keeping the message and the visuals positive allows for even broader support.