Ultraviolet is shedding light on several issues related to women’s rights via billboards placed in airports and designed to inform the public. The group, composed of men and women from all over the U.S., seeks to fight injustice against women and to educate the public about policies that support inequality and sexism. In its latest campaign, the group has placed billboards in airports in several states including North Carolina, Texas, Louisiana and Ohio.
The billboards are tailored specifically to bring attention to the issues in each state that Ultraviolet believes are unfair and even harmful to women. Some of the issues include equal pay, abortion rights and maternity leave. In states like Ohio, for instance, the group is fighting against laws that would allow men who father children as a result of sexual assault to have parental rights such as custody and visitation. Although other states, 30 in fact, have similar laws on the books, the issue came to light in Ohio during the trial of Ariel Castro. Castro, while on trial for holding three women captive in his Cleveland, Ohio, home where he repeatedly raped them for over 10 years, asked permission to see the six-year-old child he fathered with one of the victims.
In other states like North Carolina, Ultraviolet is shedding light on issues that affect the rights of women such as childcare and equal pay. In the Tar Heel state, the bulletin board says that more than one-fourth of women live below the poverty level, and the cost of college tuition is substantially less than the cost of daycare. The billboard in the Louisiana airport claims that a recent survey ranked Louisiana as the worst state for women. Ultraviolet’s activities, however, are not just geared towards states.
The group was successful in convincing several big companies, including Reebok, to sever endorsement contracts with rapper Rick Ross after his single in which he glorified drugging and raping a female was released. Ultraviolet was also responsible for getting funding pulled from Russ Limbaugh’s radio show. Limbaugh was under fire for referring, several times on air, to a young college student as a “slut” because she voiced her position about insurance companies covering contraceptives.
Other issues that the group has been very vocal about include NFL football player Ray Rice and the incident earlier this year when he allegedly had a physical altercation with his fiancée. Rice received a two game suspension from the NFL, which Ultraviolet stressed was not enough to send a strong message against domestic violence. The group has also come out against the way sexual assault cases are handled at colleges and universities, including Ivy League schools Princeton and Dartmouth.Other campaigns have been against unfair practices at Pier 1, Whole Foods and even Facebook, to name a few.
Ultraviolet is currently awaiting approval to place billboards in airports in other states. The group is not to be dissuaded as the plan, should the requests be denied, which was the case in a Florida airport, is to place the billboards outside of the airports. Meanwhile, Ultraviolet continues to shed light on the rights of women to be free from inequality and sexism in all of its many forms.
By Constance Spruill
We Are Ultraviolet