News and events
Our #16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence 2019
Every year we work with activists, community groups and a range of organizations across Scotland to raise awareness on prevention of violence against women during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence.
16 Days of Activism is an international campaign It is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls. The campaign runs every year from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day.
We've been very busy this year so read our round up of all the events and campaigning we've been doing across Scotland!
The goal of the #TimeForPrevention campaign was to start a national conversation about primary prevention of violence against women.
We asked members of the public to invite their MSPs to the annual 16 Days of Activism on Gender Based on Gender Based Violence debate at the Scottish Parliament, as last year, just 15% of MSPs spoke at this debate.
The campaign was supported by Soroptimists International, Amina Muslim Women’s Resource Centre, Girl Up Edinburgh Campaign, Young Women’s Movement in Scotland (YWCA) and Women Being Project.
Thanks to the support from many organisations, community groups and individuals, members of the public sent an amazing 1,314 emails that reached 111 out of 129 MSPs emails!
- 163 emails were sent to 48 out of 62 (77%) SNP MSPs with average of 3.4 emails per MSP.
- 633 emails were sent to 22 out of 23 (96%) Scottish Labour MSPs with average of 18.1 emails per MSP.
- 32 emails were sent to 5 out of 5 (100%) Scottish Liberal Democrats MSPs with average of 18.1 emails per MSP.
- 517 emails were sent to 28 out of 31 (90%) Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party MSPs with average of 18.5 emails per MSP.
- 195 emails were sent to 6 out of 6 (100%) Scottish Green Party MSPs with average of 32.5 emails per MSP.
It was very disappointing that the debate this year was announced less than a week in advance and it took place on took place on the 27th November between 5.15-6.30pm. Moreover, last year it was a Scottish Government debate, this year it was deprioritised to the less prestigious Members Debate. And that the time for the debate also conflicted with other events at the Parliament on that day.
The content of the debate was of a very high quality, and lots of MSPs spoke about the importance of prevention. However, despite all the emails members of the public sent only 13 MSPs spoke at this debate, comparing to 20 MSPs last year.
We are thankful to those MSPs who decided to speak out, but the low attendance demonstrates that there is still a lot of work to be done to raise awareness on the importance of violence against women.
Check if your MSP took part and what they said here: https://www.theyworkforyou.com/sp/?id=2019-11-27.19.0&p=14056
We will continue to campaign to raise the importance of preventing violence against women and girls. If you want to be informed about our future campaigns, sign up to our mailing list here.
Write to End Violence Against Women Awards
We hosted our annual Write to End Violence Against Women Awards to celebrate journalists and writers challenging violence against women and gender inequality.
The awards ceremony was hosted at the Scottish Parliament by Jackie Baillie, MSP.
We heard from Fiona MacKenzie, founder of the We Can't Consent to This campaign - who called out the injustice of the "Sex Game Gone Wrong" defense.
Bee Asha Singh blew us all away with her truly outstanding poetry performance - receiving a standing ovation from some of the audience. You can find out more about the her in the documentary Spit It Out created by Aruna Productions.
Tell it to the Bees
Together with Out At The Cameo, we hosted a film screening and Q & A about violence against LBT women.
Tell It to the Bees (Annabel Jankle, 2018) is a British drama, based on Fiona Shaw’s bestselling novel of the same name. The film follows the love story of two women in 1950s Scotland: single mother Lydia (Holliday Grainger) and small-town doctor Jean (Anna Paquin.)
Hear a special message from the Fiona Shaw read out on the night by Harry from Out At the Cameo here: https://twitter.com/CameoOut/status/1201619233085497344
You can watch panel discussion about the film and more wide conversations about violence against LBT women here: https://twitter.com/CameoOut/status/1201931219514068992
Out at the Cameo are a group of LGBT+ amateur programmers, aged 18 - 25. They focus on screening queer cinema and camp cult classics old and new, as well as creating a welcoming environment for all.
Travelling Violence Unseen Exhibition
Thanks to our partner organisation Shetland Rape Crisis our Violence Unseen Exhibition visited 3 location in Shetland. Violence Unseen was launched at Mareel on Thursday 21 November and stayed at the arts venue until 24 November and was then displayed at Sumburgh Airport (28 November-2 December) and then Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary (5-10 December).
Here is a press coverage of the exhibition in Shetland News: https://www.shetnews.co.uk/2019/11/19/challenging-myth-and-helping-victims-of-sexual-violence/
You can also read the review here: https://www.shetnews.co.uk/2019/11/23/review-defiant-dignity-in-the-face-of-oppression/
Dumfries and Galloway
We worked in partnership with Dumfries and Galloway Public Protection Partnership and Violence Unseen exhibition was displayed as a part of awareness raising activities at Dumfries College and Stranraer College.
‘Violence Unseen Exhibition was placed in an area adjacent to the Library which is attended by College and university students (Glasgow Uni and the University of the West of Scotland) and students kept on commenting on how powerful VU was. People at the college told me I quote: “It was a total hit!” – Luis Pombo, Research and Information Officer – DA&VAWG
Writing Violence Against Women
In collaboration with the Scottish Poetry Library, and funded by Book Week Scotland, we hosted a panel discussion between three experts who have worked on and around the writing of VAW. The panel included our own Communications and Events Officer, Jenny Lester (standing in for journalist Anna Burnside), Manager of Forth Valley Rape Crisis Centre, Mridul Wadhwa, and poet Jenny Lindsay, chaired by Nadine Aisha Jassat.
The evening examined questions around the challenges of writing about VAW, the common issues with its language, and how we can improve the written depiction of VAW in journalism, poetry and prose.
After all that busy-ness it is time for a wee break.
We will be back to fight violence against women and gender inequality in a new decade! See you soon!