All posts filed under: women media

Hearing the Women of Kyrgyzstan: One Story at a Time

Written by: Lena Shareef We had a few more questions left in the interview. My friend, Olivia, and I were sitting on the floor of a three-room house in At-Bashy village, which is in the middle of Naryn, a rural province of Kyrgyzstan. I zoomed the camera lens in slightly on Vineira, a young Kyrgyz woman we met through our translator, while Olivia sat to my left conducting the interview. This was our second time visiting Kyrgyzstan and our second time interviewing Vineira at her home. In addition to telling stories of change at Fenton, I run a non-profit media organization called GIRLWITHABOOK Movement, which advocates for girls’ education and gender equality. My team and I are working on producing a documentary series about what it means to be a girl in Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, India, and Nepal. In October 2015, we embarked on a four-month trip, a month in each country, to identify and interview girls and women of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds about what being a girl personally means to them. Because the …

The Women of Solidarity: How History Ignored Fifty Percent of Poland’s Solidarity Movement

The success of Poland’s Solidarity Movement to combat and rid the nation of its communist rule is a pivotal moment in world history. It stands as a testament to not only the power of grassroots-lead revolutions, but how quickly change can manifest across a nation and finally transcend borders. However, it was an arduous road. In 1981, still a few years before the fall of the Berlin Wall, the leadership of the Solidarity Movement was arrested during the military coup. This leads one to question, who kept the Solidarity Movement active during the following months and years? From the original firing of Anna Walentynowicz at the Gdnask shipyard in August 1980 to the all-female editorial team of Poland’s most influential underground paper, “Tygodnik Mazowsze”, one can’t help but question why the women of Poland’s Solidarity Movement do not get the credit they so justly deserve? The firing of Anna Walentynowicz marked a historic shift in Poland’s resistance movement for it resulted in some of the most widespread strikes in the nation’s history. Soon, millions of …

From Memphis to Oklahoma City: How Black Women have led America’s Organized Anti-Rape Efforts

The Memphis Riots of 1866 are of deep historical significance as they mark the first documented case in the United States on an organized effort to combat rape. After this riot a group of African American Women testified before Congress. These women stood up and stated that a white mob, composed of civilians as well as policemen, had perpetrated a series of gang rapes throughout the riots. There were three documented rapes that occurred during these three days as well as the murder of 46 African Americans. Lucy Smith was sixteen years old when she testified that seven white men, including two police officers, broke into her home and raped her and her friend Frances Thompson. These two women alongside their peers testified before the United States Congress. Their perpetrators escaped any sort of punishment. This injustice and other similar injustices sparked outrage from African American activists including Ida Wells, Anna Julia Cooper and Fannie Barrier Williams. The efforts of these courageous women laid the groundwork for future projects against sexual and gender based violence …

January’s Inspiration

A new year offers the perfect opportunity for a little motivation-renewal, and so this January I have been thinking about who, and what, inspires me. Female role models received an unusual level of media attention in 2015. There was the Pirelli calendar, which made a shift from images of nude supermodels to ones of women who’ve done really great things – think less Gigi Hadid’s boobs, more Amy Schumer’s jokes. Then there’s the ongoing fight for equal pay, championed by several of Hollywood’s most influential ladies. Jennifer Lawrence’s essay on the topic was assertive and unapologetic and went totally viral. Here in the UK, when the government announced plans to drop feminism from the politics syllabus, my fellow blogger and all-round wondergirl June Eric-Udorie launched a petition that received more than 50,000 signatures to secure the place of influential women in the brains of British teens. Magazines, including the glossies, are slowly but surely readjusting their focus. Sure, there are still obscene levels of Kardashian at every turn, but there are also features like Women of the Year Awards. There’s even a …

A Wishlist for 2016

There’s a lot we hope for every New Year. Good health. Thinner waists. Fatter paycheques. This year, Girls’ Globe is hoping 2016 brings us significantly more. As a group, we travelled to Mexico City and New York. We were fuelled by the tireless work of grassroots organizations, multinational corporations and brave, fearless women on the ground. In light of what we’ve seen, what’s powered us and pained us, here’s a few of the things we hope for after December 31st. 1. Better representation of women in media & pop culture. In light of all the pressing and painful issues women around the world face, women in popular culture may seem somewhat trivial. However, in a world where television and movies dominate enormous screens in Hollywood and infiltrate small television sets in rural villages, the potential for media to influence perception is greater than ever. A better representation of women goes beyond a move away from an unhealthy ideal body or face. It also extends to showing women as full, complex and capable characters. From fictional characters like Jessica Jones …

(Her)Story: A Revolution

Originally published on The Huffington Post Think back to your high school’s United States history book: Remember that tiny paragraph on the women’s suffrage movement? The one-sentence descriptions on the contributions of Rosalind Franklin to the discovery of DNA, Coretta Scott King to the civil rights movement, and Eleanor Roosevelt to the New Deal policies? The absence of LGBTQ-identified women and women of color in the paragraph about the 1960s “second-wave” women’s movement? We at Women SPEAK want to change that. Based in Los Angeles, Women SPEAK is an organization that empowers young women to cultivate positive body image, deconstruct gender media stereotypes, and lead change in their communities. Our latest project? Redefining history into HerStory. History has narrowly framed accomplishments, success, and innovation in the context of *his* story, mainly stories of men. We see this truth all around us: for example, in the absence of women on our currency and in the few women that are honored in commemorative spaces and public places. Women are absent in the public narratives of history in …

Media Misrepresentation

Media is a powerful mechanism to spread information. Whether they are fashion models, sport stars or celebrities, the media promotes figures who become role models for young people. This is particularly true for young girls. Celebrities and other “role models” often become a misrepresentation of reality. Young girls receive mixed messages which often place expectations on them to be beautiful, girly and appear as fragile. In my country of Nepal, young women are flooded with messages from the media pressuring them to have the smallest waist, lovely long hair and a fair complexion. The gorgeous photos of young women on magazines, advertisement banners and other media are beautiful. However, these often unattainable photo shopped images create unnecessary pressure on young women. Young women often go to great lengths to achieve the media’s version of beauty. The result? Many girls develop eating disorders, those with fair skin apply various beauty products while the deemed “unpopular” girls try to reduce the size of their skirts so they will be noticed. Why? The media sends the message to young women: Our value exists in our bodies. Media has devalued the existence of women. Women are expected to …