In January, the Russian Duma passed a law decriminalizing wife-beating, and so to celebrate International Women's Day, the Russian Socialist Movement snuck fake ads into the St Petersburg subway system highlighting violence and discrimination against women in Russia.
"Instead of creating crisis centers and shelters, or introducing protection mechanisms like restraining orders, the state recently decriminalized domestic violence," the activists write online.
One of their "advertisements" displayed in the St. Petersburg subway featured a woman hiding behind a bouquet of roses. In the image, she has a black eye and the caption reads, "Flowers are done to death!" In Russian, the phrase plays on the word izbito, which means both "overdone" and, literally, "beaten up."
The socialists' posters also took aim at discrimination in the workplace, where Russian women earn roughly 30 percent less than men, and women remain legally barred from more than 450 professions — including, for example, subway engine driver. In this spirit, another poster showed a woman measuring her waist, along with the slogan "Loose some weight! Be tiny like your salary."
Russian Socialists Celebrate International Women's Day With Guerilla Ads on the Subway
[Kevin Rothrock/Global Voices]