In Egypt, women only make up 23 percent of the workforce. UN Women Egypt has found a perfectly clever way to demonstrate just how much of a minority women are with these Where’s Wally inspired illustrations.
Instead of finding Wally however, the UN Women campaign consisting of three ads titled Finding Her, challenge the read to find one woman across three major up-and-coming industries in Egypt – science, high-tech and politics.
Go on, see if you can spot the woman in this illustration of Egypt's high-tech sector.
The campaign fits under the umbrella of the UN Women’s global campaign Planet 50-50 by 2030-Step it Up for Gender Equality, which calls upon governments to address the challenges for women.
The illustrations mark the beginning of a range of activities to be carried out in the weeks following International Women’s Day on March 8.
DDB Dubai was commissioned by UN Women Egypt to create the print campaign. The incredibly-detailed illustrations are by IC4Design - an award-winning duo from Hiroshima, Japan. The duo are known for their dense and fun landscapes which have been used in advertising, books, editorials and online. Their style is much like Britain’s own Rod Hunt, who’s built a reputation for retro-tinged illustrations and detailed character filled landscapes.
IC4Design drew a rough sketch to decide the whole angle and layout, and after UN Women’s approval, the thickness of the lines was decided, and then the real lines drawn before colouring to finish.
Image: Illustration of Egypt's science sector by IC4Design
The Finding Her campaign ran in several magazines across Egypt.
"Even though the percentage of women in the workforce is so low, the issue still goes largely unnoticed," says DDB Dubai executive creative director Firas Medrows.
"By creating these elaborate ads that you really spend time looking at, we wanted to raise awareness for the cause."
“In Egypt, according to CAPMAS (Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics), women’s participation in the labour force has been low and stagnant around 23 percent over the years, despite rising educational attainment among women, and the narrowing of the gender gap in education,” says UN Women country director Jorg Schimmel.
“Research shows that gender parity in the workforce can increase Egypt’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 34 percent. So engaging women in the workforce does not only benefit the women and their families, but it also has great positive benefits for the country’s economy as a whole.”
But a woman as a minority in the workforce is a global injustice. In the UK and US, many creative industry professionals expressed their concern with the lack of women in leadership roles in our feature on design trends in 2017.
Image: Illustration of Egypt's political sector by IC4Design
UN Women Egypt takes a focus in women’s economic empowerment. It describes the current situation of many women working at home, on farms or in family businesses often unpaid. UN Women Egypt is working to create financial and non-financial services that will enable women to have proper financial evaluation of their participation in the agricultural sector.
UN Women Egypt also supports local authorities to prevent violence against women and improve their safety. UN Women Egypt also aims to work with local government agencies to prevent sexual violence through improved knowledge and skills of service providers regarding sexual violence in public spaces.
Image: Here's the woman from the high-tech illustration in case you didn't find her.
Image: Here she is in the science sector illustration.
Image: And here she is in the political sector.
Image: The first rough cut drawings by IC4Design for the illustrated campaign.
Image: Another close-up of Egypt's political sector illustration by IC4Design
Image: Another close-up of Egypt's high-tech sector illustration by IC4Design
Image: Another close-up of Egypt's science sector illustration by IC4Design