Photography: End Female Genital Mutilation

Amnesty International's campaign against Female Genital Mutilation

This is one of a series of three posters for Amnesty International's campaign against female genital mutilation (FGM). The three different posters, each showing a different coloured rose, with different stitching, show the variations of FGM across the world.

This campaign utilises one of the most evocative visual metaphors we have found thus far. The intent of the visual is clear: Amnesty wants to provoke an emotional response from the viewers so that they will pledge support for the campaign to bring a stop to this activity in countries where it is legal. The striking, high angle photograph of the rose draws the viewer in immediately only to reveal the distorted shape of the rose and the rough stitching holding its centre petals shut. Then it becomes quite obvious to the viewer as s/he scans the page that this is an advert about female circumcision and the rose is intended to represent female genitalia.

(text at the bottom of the poster): Every year, two million girls suffer the pain of genital mutilation – a clear violation of their human rights. No government should continue to support this crime. Help us to stop violence against women. Give your support at

Why we like it

This visual advert manages to do something quite fresh with the overused and very cliched symbol of female genitalia as flower. The fact that it is photographed, rather than animated or illustrated, drives the severity and harsh reality of this human rights issue home, without the need for gory images. The image of the soft and delicate rose, now maimed, stitched up and unable to exist in its natural state, really works to produce an emotional response from the viewer.

Category: Visualisation of women's rights worldwide

Year: 2007

By: Amnesty International Campaign created by advertising agency, Publicis of Stockholm, Sweden.