The famous Chicago Bean and the steps of Chicago’s Art Institute were filled with a group of demonstrators called UltraViolet who teamed up with Chicago’s own Overpass Light Brigade to show giant lit signs that read “Stand with Women.” The activists are sending a message to legislators in the midst of a debate over women’s rights and allowing business owners to refuse to provide birth control based on the owner’s religious stance. The demonstrators corresponded together to light up Chicago in favor of women’s rights and access to birth control.
The demonstrations were held nationwide to promote awareness of this hot topic. UltraViolet is a new growing group of men and women in the United States committed to stopping sexism and expanding women’s rights. The group works with politics, government, media and pop culture to spread the message and speak out against these issues.
UltraViolet members spoke out on social media when Rapper Rick Ross who was sponsored by Reebok released a single promoting the use of drugs used to rape a woman. UltraViolet teamed up with Facebook to speak out against this issue for women and rape issues. Facebook used ads on the website to promote the cause. Reebok later ended the relationship with the rapper thus causing Rick Ross to issue an apology for the lyrics.
UltraViolet educates hundreds of thousands of women about health care issues to rape culture awareness and even spreads the word about women’s pay inequality. The co-founders, Nita Chaudhary and Shaunna Thomas, have rallied together over 350,000 members through campaigns and social media websites to get their voices heard. UltraViolet also brought to light issues with anti-women lawmakers in the political realm, like lawmaker Paul Ryan.
Bringing this type of awareness globally could help empower millions of women and help reduce issues like global poverty. Women make up an absurd amount of the world’s poor and need activist groups to get the voices of the excluded women in these societies heard. Issues like rape and domestic violence can be highlighted globally through a women’s perspective and stop issues like human trafficking.
More is being done to stop the trafficking for illegally pirated DVDs than there is with the trafficking of young girls in Taiwan with border security. An issue like this which takes the lives of millions of young girls every year and could be fought by using social media outreach similar to UltraViolet’s method. Ultraviolet’s outreach can spread globally and empower women from all corners of the world to fight for women’s rights and gain access to society in ways that was not possible before.
– Rachel Cannon
Sources: Chicagoist, New York Times