04.08.2016 - UNESCO Office in Brasilia

With support from the UN, Globo launches a social mobilization platform for human rights

Racism. Violence. Harassment. Homophobia. Chauvinism. During times like these, society needs to mobilize in order to reinforce a culture that doesn’t just tolerate, but respects rights.

In partnership with UN Women, UNESCO in Brazil, UNICEF and UNAIDS, Globo is launching the “Everything begins with Respect” platform, an effort to broaden discussions on the rights of women, the elderly, LGBT, black men and women, the disabled, religions, those living with HIV and communities vulnerable to discrimination and prejudice. Through united efforts and initiatives in conjunction with leading organizations in the field of advocacy, Globo seeks to raise society's awareness of the importance of tolerance and respect towards the common good.

The idea is gaining ground in conversations at home, at work, during leisure time and at all the times and places where there is room for reflection. And, most importantly, it fosters the first step towards changing attitudes.

The platform's launch was set with a showing of the film 'Fio', broadcast from July 28 on TV screens and on Globo's social networks. The film evokes the contrast between the worst expressions of prejudice and discrimination, and the best way to combat them. Words such as 'harassment', 'violence', 'racism' and 'homophobia' are fashioned from the twisting and turning of a graphic of a string of yarn, like a rope - the twists provide an idea of how devastating these attitudes can be. While the expressions are displayed on the screen, the narration reinforces that in order to end violence against women, against blacks and against sexual diversity we must all remember that everything begins with respect.

In the second phase of the project, the voice of civil society organizations acting in the defense of rights will take to Globo's screens. The network will yield space for the broadcasting of films in partnership or produced by third parties. Institutions working with Globo include Amnesty International, the Center of Articulation of Marginalized Populations (CEAP), the Commission for Combating Religious Intolerance (CCIR), Central Única das Favelas (CUFA), the Dignity Group, the Old Friend Institute, MetaSocial, Movimento Down, Instituto Sou da Paz and Viva Rio.

“Among many other things, the role of network television is to use their reach to encourage positive changes in behavior. We do this through soap operas, journalism, entertainment programs and the assignment of media for commercial breaks. The sequence and intensification of episodes of intolerance in our society has led us to gather all these fronts into a single platform dedicated to strengthening the fight by Brazilian organizations that operate historically in the defense of rights,” confirmedGlobo's Director of Social Responsibility, Beatriz Azeredo.  “Now, with the release of 'Everything starts with Respect', we are joining forces with leading civil society organizations to advance within this objective and encourage a true change in attitudes,” she said.

“Using the image of an unraveling ball of yarn, the film shows us that respect is the beginning of the yarn to get to #Zero Discrimination. We have violence without respect, affecting those who are most vulnerable,” claimed Director of UNAIDS Brazil, Georgiana Braga-Orillard. “The campaign demonstrates that every one of us can unravel this ball - at home, at school, within the community, at work, as well as in areas of political activity and influence. Everything begins with respect.” 

Nadine Gasman, the representative of UN Women Brazil, believes that the structural inequalities need to be addressed and to rely on the continued support of the media to educate society, keeping society informed with quality information and engage new group to participate in the search for solutions. “Respect starts with the guarantee of real equal rights among people, with their social representation and media steady and on an equal footing.

Racism and sexism have imposed harsh living conditions for black women, as have further exposure to multiple forms of gender and racial violence and their effects on education, health, and work in their lives, the lives of their families and their communities. Indigenous women are viewed as less important and few people are mobilizing to defend their rights and the rights of their people. Lesbophobia and homophobia reveal another face of the violence that threatens the existence of people as they are in diversity,” believes Nadine Gasman.

She also pointed out the importance of the mass media in making products that are based on the reality of society. "The creation becomes much more powerful and innovative if it actually comes from the plurality of human material in Brazil and if it confronts the secular inequalities that affect the lives of these and future generations. This is a vicious cycle that must be broken. And the media have a large contribution to make in a continuous and cumulative manner," Nadine Gasman stated.

Historical involvement 

The platform reinforces a movement that Globo has always taken on throughout its history: to stimulate empathy for others and rescue respect for other people - regardless of physical differences or lifestyle choices - for discussions on respect and tolerance. It had done just that with the series 'Liberdade, Liberdade'. The story takes place between 1792 and 1808, but it couldn't be more timeless. It deals with a case of friendship and love between two men, as well as the story of a subjugated wife and the years of abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband. The plot brings forward the position of women within Brazilian colonial society, where they were considered inferior and subservient to men. It was also when thousands of people were traded as objects and treated with contempt by a society that only saw them as slaves. On top of that, there were children scattered through the streets without access to school, food, a home. Everyone was caught up in Joaquina’s (Andreia Horta) fight for equality between everyone: be it men, women, noblemen or slaves, the elderly or children, or people from different economic classes.

The scenes between André (Caio Blat) and Tolentino (Ricardo Pereira) reverberate among Brazilians and raised questions about homophobia, intolerance and particularly respect - or the lack thereof. “The story of André and Tolentino is one of love, a true love, which goes way beyond gender or sex. Discussing this theme is indeed a breach of taboo, but we've already done this at other times. The most important thing now is to reinforce that this is taking place belatedly. After all, we have witnessed countless homophobic crimes. It's high time we understand that people will only be happy when they respect each other, respect is key," concluded Mario Teixeira, the author of 'Liberdade, Liberdade'.

The show joins many others that have raised important questions for society. Soap operas like ‘Irmãos Coragem’ (1970), ‘Dancin’Days’ (1978), ‘Malu Mulher’ (1979) and, more recently, ‘Lado a Lado’ (2012) and ‘Joia Rara’ (2013), stressed the strength and autonomy of women, while ‘A Favorita’ (2008), ‘Fina Estampa’ (2011) and ‘A Regra do Jogo’ brought the subject of violence against women to the center of discussion. The themes in ‘Pecado Capital’ (1975), ‘A Próxima Vitíma’ (1995), ‘Babilônia’ (2015) and ‘I love Paraisópolis’ fueled debates on ethnic prejudice and equal opportunities between whites and blacks. Discrimination related to sexual orientation was already dealt with in remarkable stories such as ‘Roda de Fogo’ (1986), ‘Senhora do Destino’ (2014) and ‘Amor à Vida’.

With the certainty that 'Everything begins with respect', Globo offers its ability to help mobilize more people to join in the efforts towards creating a country with more tolerance and respect for differences. (Source: UNAIDS Brasil)

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