Speaking Out For Gender Equality

14 Apr Speaking Out For Gender Equality

Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.

That’s what the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals says on gender. Gender is one of the 17 goals they work hard on. 

While our world has achieved much progress towards gender equality  and women’s empowerment under the Millennium Development Goals (such as equal access to primary education between girls and boys), women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and violence.

The striking image of a barbie holding a placard with a powerful message written on is to provoke passers-by and people online to think about and discuss the impact gender inequality has on all of our lives. Placed in a location where you see a problem with gender equality and placed below eye level to intrigue people, we hope it creates dialogue on this issue where it is needed most. The photo below was taken at the back of Clapham Junction train station in London where groups of young people would hang out. Often the boys would have their arms around their girlfriends and the girls would not talk much. It made me uncomfortable and I wanted to challenge it in our approach of ‘gentle protest’. 

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Our image here has not only been published in numerous books and magazines but also been shared over the years on blogs, social media and you can get it in our postcard set here 

barbie-projectStudents at The New School for International Affairs and Media all the way in the USA take part in this project as part of their course.  Student Emilie Romero has written about taking part in the project here.  Emilie put her own twist on the project for her studies which we encourage as long as it still priorities the goal of challenging injustices and doing some activism. 

Craft alone or with friends, family, or even set up a public stitch-in and bring the discussion to passersby and at other events. Tag us @craftivists on InstagramTwitter and Pinterest or ‘Craftivist Collective’ on Facebook) so we can share your creations with others (unless you say otherwise) and we can all join the conversation. You can also do a guest blog for this website to share your crafter-thoughts and hopes like these craftivists have here in our series “My Craftivism”


  • Buy a second hand Barbie or any small doll,
  • use paint, pen or what we used here: stamp ink to rub into her so she looks bruised and battered.
  • Make her a placard and tie her up with gaffer tape.
  • Find a good fact, statistic or quote which will provoke people to talk about gender inequality and put that on the placard.
  • Reflect on gender equality in your own life and how you can support people of all genders in all that you do, say, think and buy.
  • Leave your Barbie wrapped around a bar in a public place relevant to the issue, below eye level and take a photograph.
  • Email us the photograph and an explanation of your message on the placard and where you left it. We will blog it.

photo by Robin Prime

If you have found this project helpful please do $upport us to exist so we can continue to support you & other craftivists. We are a small struggling social enterprise with no external funding x


  • Mariam Davtyan
    Posted at 11:56h, 20 July Reply

    Dear Craftivist Collective,
    I’m from another country /Armenia/. Can I still join this project?

    • Craftivist Collective
      Posted at 21:45h, 20 July Reply

      Of course you can Mariam 🙂 Wherever you are, you can get involved x

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