Great public and third sector campaigns about women’s issues

In times of crisis, we think it’s equally important to be looking ahead, remaining informed and inspired by the many other ‘social good’ messages that those of us working in local government, gov-funded organisations, start-ups and charities have been tasked with spreading to our communities. As COVID-19 continues to have a devastating impact on the world, we are trying to remain proactive by dedicating some of our time to creating positive content that isn’t related to the crisis. Here is one of our first blogs.

There is so much amazing work being done across the private, public and third sector to promote women’s happiness, equality and health. In this article, we’ll look at some impressive and impactful examples of third and public sector campaigns exploring women’s issues. Here are some of our top picks.


Stop it at the start - the Australian Federal Government

In this compelling campaign aimed at cautioning against a ‘boys will be boys’ attitude prevalent in many societies across the globe including Australia’s, the Australian Federal Government urges everyday individuals to consider how using phrases as seemingly innocent as ‘don’t throw the ball like a girl’ around children can lead to the development of dangerous attitudes towards women later in life, including violence.

The campaign was particularly impactful through its:

This Girl Can campaign - Sport England

We’re sure anyone who works in the public sector or third sector or indeed most active Internet users are aware of Sports England’s fantastic This Girl Can campaign. What you may not be aware of though is how long this wonderful initiative, aimed at encouraging female participation in sports, has been around for.

This Girl Can recently celebrated its fifth birthday, a relatively ripe old age for a comms campaign by any standards, and no doubt testament to the message effectiveness.

With more than 100,000 followers on Instagram, This Girl Can aims to encourage women of all ages and backgrounds to get active. It’s latest offering – this very compelling Me Again video – tackles some common taboos surrounding girls and women and exercise, such as the appropriateness of doing sports when experiencing menstruation, menopause and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. It also aims to comment on the influencer fitness culture, reminding women and girls that you don’t need to live up to any standard in order to enjoy the many benefits of physical activity.

Also worth a mention is the fact that Sports England actively recognises the limitations of its campaigning. The board’s research last year highlighted that 33.5% of women in lower-paid, routine and manual professionals are inactive. As such, it will be more rigorously marketing its efforts towards areas such as Greater Manchester where this trend materialises.

Pay Gap Pound - SheSays

Nonprofit women’s networking & advocacy organisation SheSays joined forces with creative agency Mr President to create a £1 replica highlighting the UK’s gender pay gap. The coin reads 82p, the average amount women in the UK earn for every £1 paid to men.

On an accompanying website, users can generate a virtual ‘pay gap pound’ to show the gender pay gap in their specific industry.

Check it out here:

The graphics utilised in this campaign are bold and eye-catching and no doubt contributed to its great success, especially on social media.

#autocompletetruth - UN Women (Dubai)

In an extremely powerful campaign aimed at influencing the behaviour of the social media generation, UN Women in Dubai teamed up with Memac Ogilvy and Mather to reveal some shockingly sexist Google auto-fill results such as: ‘women shouldn’t… work or have rights’.

The impactful campaign attracted more than 24-million Twitter mentions alone and harnessed the attention of users in hundreds of different countries. Check out the video here:

Plaster Pads - Plan International

Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organisation which works in 71 countries across the world to advance children’s rights and equality for girls.

A relatively small but nonetheless interesting campaign, ‘Plaster Pads’ aimed to normalise women’s periods through creativity. Enlisting the expertise of agency AMV BBDO, the charity envisioned a new type of sanitary product designed similarly to regular plasters. The campaign was complemented by the slogan ‘after all blood is blood’ and the hashtag #weallbleed.

Simple but effective, as some of the best comms work is.


#SmearForSmear - Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust

The #SmearForSmear campaign by the UK’s leading cancer charity Jo’s Trust is another example of the power of harnessing social media. The campaign encourages women to post selfies of themselves wearing smeared lipstick, to raise awareness of the importance of cervical cancer prevention through regular screenings. Tens of thousands of women (and men!) take part in the campaign each year.

Jo’s Trust also enlisted the help of popular influences, such as Megs of Wonderful U, to spread the word:

These are just a few recent public sector and third sector campaigns highlighting women’s’ and girls’ issues that have caught our eye here at ROI in recent times. We’d love to hear about more great examples. Share them with us on LinkedIn: 


Lee Tobin, Marketing Expert

Lee is a professional storyteller. She uses a storybook approach to emotively communicate your organisation’s core messages to your target audience. She especially loves social media and believes that comms should always be bold.