Cummins&Partners and Risk Sound have launched a new campaign for Plan International to demonstrate what it really feels like to ‘walk like a woman’.
In a 2018 study* of 38 countries, including those with much higher homicide rates, Australia had the largest gap between how men and women feel about their safety when walking alone at night, with many women reporting they felt under threat.
Plan International Australia ambassador and host of Sexism And The City podcast Jan Fran said ‘Walk Like A Woman’ was breaking new ground in allowing men to step into the shoes of a young woman.
Says Fran: “Most men want to help girls and women feel safer, yet they have never thought about how their presence affects girls and women walking alone at night – through no fault of their own, men simply don’t know how it feels to be a woman.
“This immersive soundscape is really innovative, allowing men to not only see how it feels to be a young woman walking alone, and understand her fears, but also how men can change their behaviour to make girls and women feel safer.”
To tackle the issue, Cummins&Partners and Risk Sound have created ‘Walk Like a Woman’, an immersive 3D soundscape recorded with a series of omni-directional microphones that lets men experience just what it’s like to walk alone as a young woman. The track launches today as part of a playlist on Spotify and is supported by outdoor, catch-up TV, social and digital.
Says Michelle Canning, copywriter, Cummins&Partners: “Women have been told for decades to modify their behaviour to stay safe, but now it’s time for men to do their bit to help women feel safer too. This incredibly realistic audio track not only gives them first-hand experience, but is also a way to help rectify the problem, with simple behavioural change suggestions sourced from Plan International’s group of female youth activists.”
Says Liam Annert, sound engineer, Risk Sound: “When I was told of this idea, I knew recording the soundscape using binaural recording techniques would yield great results. I wanted the listener to feel completely surrounded by the sounds to get a sense of what it’s really like for a woman in that environment.”
Plan International Australia CEO Susanne Legena said Walk Like A Woman would speak to the growing movement of men who want to help young women feel safe, and be allies for gender equality.
Says Legena: “The tragic death of Aiia Maasarwe in Melbourne brought the issue of safety for young women to the forefront.
“We know from our Unsafe In The City research on street harassment that many young women are scared walking around their cities – some women in Sydney told us they avoid certain places, or stopped studying or working because they felt unsafe.
“Making our cities safer and more equal is critical to improving access for everyone to education, work and their communities, particularly girls and young women.”
Head to plan.org.au/walklikeawoman to find out how you can play a part in making women feel safer on our streets.
Client: Plan International Australia
Sound House: Risk Sound
Sound Designer: Liam Annert
Creative Director: Sarah McGregor
Senior Copywriter: Liam Jenkins
Copywriter: Michelle Canning
Art Director: Ben Horewood
Designers: Ellena Mills, Sarah Skotnicki and Amber Hunter
Senior Integration Manager: Kara Brumfit
Integration Manager: Bec Gehrig
Connections Planning Manager: Will Millar
Digital Designer and Developer: Chris Staring