Just thought I would share the notes and summaries I composed for WAR about their activities during 16 days of Activism in Nov/Dec. Also, if you feel so inclined you can follow WAR’s Facebook page. We update the page weekly with links and posts on gender based violence and gender equality and the page will keep you up to date with WAR’s ongoing outreach activities and projects, the page is called: Women Against Rape, Antigua and Barbuda.
Why these events?
Often the implications of gender inequality and gender based violence are considered as exclusively occurring between two individuals, in the form of domestic violence. We at WAR want to bring awareness to the pervasive of gender inequality and gender based violence’s as it occurs in many spheres of society and in many different forms. We can identify gender inequality and gender based violence in many sites including our homes, our schools, the media, the legal systems and the health care system. Thus, to target gender inequality we require a multi-sectored approach rooted in strong partnerships and creative collaboration. With this in mind WAR’s activities during the 16 days of Activism encompassed a public outreach event, a stakeholder meeting, and a targeted school outreach.
November 19th 2013: Media House Meeting
This meeting will bring together representatives from media houses and organizations that promote gender equality in Antigua and Barbuda. This meeting aims to: (1) increase stakeholder awareness and recognition of GBV and gender inequality in the media, (2) discuss the consequences of how GBV is represented in the media and, (3) explore the possible ways that media can aid in promoting gender equality and eliminating GBV.
This meeting is part of an ongoing dialogue WAR has been having with media house bodies. There have been quite a few articles and a blog post I found published on the topic:
Points from the Discussion
- The representation of gender inequality and gender based violence in the media indexes larger societal issues
- Social media is harder to regulate but plays a pivotal role
- Can we ascribe a moral law to media? How far can you go with censorship? We must be cognizant of infringing on content that is not within legal bounds and that does not compromise creativity. What about the possible consequences of the counter culture that results from censorship?
- How can we hold media houses accountable for their activities?
- Need to provide a concerted approach to the topic
Conclusions Drawn/Action Items:
- First need to approach media houses individually to get their stances on the topic then need to amalgamate media houses positions and then bringing this forward to legislative bodies. Possibility of having media bodies working alongside an NGO to discuss the implementation of gender sensitive mechanisms.
- The scope of the discussion should include all forms of gender-based violence.
- A wider audience will allow for more in depth discussion and movement forward
>This meeting was covered in the Antigua Observer: http://www.antiguaobserver.com/push-for-broadcast-policy-is-a-push-for-self-evaluation-says-proposer/
December 5th 2013: Symposium on Gender Inequality and Gender Based Violence in Antigua.
This symposium encouraged thoughtful and collaborative discussions on the issue of gender‐based violence in Antigua and Barbuda. Panelists were asked to speak about very basic questions followed by a question/answer and discussion:
- What does it mean to be a man in Antigua?
- What does it mean to be a woman?
- What is the youth perspective on gender inequality and GBV?
- What is the role of the state?
Four re-current themes brought up by the panelists speeches and in the discussion included:
>Redefining self and spaces: Prevalent expectations of women and men need to be redefined in Antigua and Barbuda, we can start by looking at our homes and relationships we have with our families to influence larger social change.
> Legislation and policy: Influencing legislation and policy remains paramount in the elimination of gender based violence and realization of gender equality.
> Plurality of sexuality: There is apparent need to recognize the sexuality of peoples with disabilities and LGBT populations and the impact of gender inequality and gender based violence on these populations.
> Collective Responsibility: We need to identify and investigate how patriarchy affects everyone and emphasize how gender based violence affects both men and women.
December 9th 2013: School Outreach
Outreach activity at a local school near Saint John’s for a brief address on gender equality, preceding discussion, and mural production. The symbolic hand which has been used by many organizations has its origin in Amerindian history was printed in diverse colours on a white background and signed individually to encourage students to think about gender equality and how it impacts their and their peers lives.