Women’s rights and the media

Women’s rights. Feminism. Sex trafficking. I know a bit about trafficking, but didn’t really know what to expect when I signed up to training about “Women’s Rights and the Media” with the Central American Women’s Network (CAWN) – but thought I’d give it a bash.

Plenary session

The aim was to get more of an in-depth look at different media and their practical use by different women and groups – for example, a session with a woman from Nicaragua who set up a radio channel for local women, championing their rights and providing them with help and information, as well as naming and shaming abusive husbands.

Other workshops were delivered by Lindsey Collen, a writer from Mauritius, who encouraged us to draw out our own voices in our writing. I’ve not really done creative writing before, but according to her my story (written from the point of view of a cactus…maybe you had to be there…) was “spellbinding” – and others who attended the training were also boosted in their confidence of using different media, which I think was one of the most positive outcomes of the week.

In the programme one of the objectives was to collectively brainstorm and make plans, but sadly after all the workshops and other sessions we’d run out of time – which was a shame, and hopefully something that CAWN might be able to address in future training sessions. However, we all made some useful contacts and certainly learnt from each other. It seems that there’s so much negativity in the world today – in the news and media in general – that it was such an uplifting experience to be surrounded by strong, positive and active women. I hope to do interviews with some of them over the next couple of months as I was inspired to hear about the different projects that these women are involved in – and hope you will be too.

2 thoughts on “Women’s rights and the media

  1. Hi, I am a fourth year photography student, mature and female, starting to specialise in documentary and storytelling. I have charity and personal work under my belt but have a special personal interest in women’s rights work….this course sounds great but I am in the uk, do you know of organisations over here that might run this type of thing? And also any pointers on how to find contacts for contributing and creating work with help for women in mind?

    Kind regards


    1. Hi Jo,
      This course was in the UK (London) – sorry I didn’t specify! CAWN are based in the UK and you can get involved with them here: http://www.cawn.org/html/involved.htm I’m not sure how often they run this type of course. I found out about it via the VSO twitter feed – they have various opportunities on there so might be worth a look.
      About contributing work with help for women – I guess you mean photography? It would be worth contacting some of the smaller women’s rights/anti-trafficking type organisations and seeing if they have a need for photography for their websites/documentation – either general, or specific assignments they need you to do. There’s a fairly comprehensive list of organisations here: http://www.cawn.org/html/work.htm who you could get in touch with.
      Hope that helps!

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