Three young women are changing the perception of women. In a studio meeting at Think Olga Nana Lima and Maíra Liguori talked with Dutch Public Prosecutors Jolanda de Boer and Martin Witteveen about the work of the NGO they started together with Juliana de Faria. Think Olga empowers women in Brazil through information, giving them self-confidence and a voice.

Jolanda de Boer and Martin Witteveen are here to join the preliminary investigation of What Design Can Do into the topic of Violence against women, which eventually will be a new WDCD challenge theme. Both public prosecutors are specialized in human trafficking, abuse and violence against women. They are in São Paulo to share their expertise in several breakout sessions during WDCD SP.

Teaming up with WDCD on this topic is the design research company STBY, represented here by Shay Raviv, who will lead two of the breakouts and also attended the studio meeting at Think Olga.

Chega de Fiu Fiu

Think Olga was set up in 2013 by journalist Juliana de Faria and marketing specialists Nana Lima and Maíra Liguori and immediately gained a lot of attention with their Chega de Fiu Fiu (Enough of the catcalling) campaign to raise awareness against sexual harassment of women in public spaces. The project already stirred the discussion on sexist culture and women being objectified.

But when the campaign was followed by a social media campaign around the hastag #primeiroassedio (#firstharassment), inciting women to share their first experience with sexual harassment, the Internet almost exploded. ‘We collected 85.000 tweets in the first eight hours,’ Liguori told. ‘Every girl remembers the first time they’ve been harassed. It was established that on average this happens in Brazil at the age of 9,7 years.’

Think Olga is now preparing a documentary that will make the harassment visible through testimonies and secretly filmed scenes. Meanwhile, Think Olga is also mentoring women who start a business of their own.

Think Eva

Next to Think Olga the three communication specialists started a for-profit company, Think Eva, which consults major brands on adapting their communication more towards women. Woking together with the clients’ advertising and branding agencies, Think Eva helps companies to be more aware of the needs and perspective of the majority of their customers as women decide on 80 per cent of household’s purchases. Campaigns for cosmetics brand Avon were particularly successful and for the first time in 130 years the company will have a black woman on its product catalogue in Brazil.

Pretty much in the same way Olga and Eva could help WDCD on defining the challenges designers could take on by providing the women’s perspective. As Shay Raviv stated, the quality of the results of a challenge depend greatly on the briefing of the designers. The more specific the questions, the better the answers.

As an example, Liguori suggested urban planning as an angle, to which Lima added: ‘Women live the city differently than men. Men travel from home to their work and back, whereas women bring the children to school, go to work, then shopping and fetching the children again. Adapting the city to the woman would be a great task.’

To be continued!

Top video: trailer of the upcoming documentary on sexual harassment by Think Olga

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