16 Days of activism against gender-based violence

IMS put gender-based violence and inequality on the agenda in 2019

Globally, one in three women will be exposed to physical and/or sexual violence throughout their lives.

To put focus on this issue and on inequality in news media, IMS engaged in several activities during #16DaysOfActivismAgainstGenderBasedViolence from 25 November to 10 Dec.

Media’s representation of rape

One of these activities were a co-hosted panel discussion on media’s challenges, responsibility and solutions when it comes to coverage of rape in both the global South and global North. The panel consisted of the Guardian’s Global Development deputy editor Liz Ford, the Danish newspaper Berlingske’s managing editor Kasper Krogh, gender project manager Roua Al Taweel from IMS partner organisation Syrian Female Journalists Network and gender researcher at Lund University Gabriella Nilsson.

The panel discussion touched on many aspects and dilemmas of the coverage: headlines, statistics, fact checking, choice of words, the situation of the rape survivors, collaboration with civil society organisations and the information chain from woman to police to news room.

Around 200 people came to the event.

Watch a video of the panel debate here.

The panel was a part of an event in the UN City Copenhagen in partnership with UN Women, UNFPA, WHO and the Australian Embassy in Denmark.

Video night in UN City Copenhagen

Poster from the event.

As part of our NO MEANS NO documentary film initiative, IMS hosted a filmscreening and Q&A on Dec 10 2019 in collaboration with UN Women.

Screening of “Violent in Love” that closely follows the women and the staff at the women’s shelter. In a subtle, systematic manner, the film shows the net of dominance and threats that the women continue to be caught – both mentally and in terms of safety – in if they don’t get the right help.

NO MEANS NO is an IMS initiative that amplifies the voices of women facing abuse and discrimination. With films screenings and debates in many parts of the world, we hope to encourage support and action to end the silence.

The film was the documentary “Violently in Love” which portrays life in Danner’s women’s shelter in Copenhagen for women seeking protection from violence.

The screening was followed by a Q&A with the film’s director Christina Rosendahl and Mette Marie Yde from Danner who, among other things, discussed the importance of documentary film as a platform and vehicle to affect policy and public debate.

“Violently in Love” contributed to the development of new legislation in Denmark that criminalises psychological violence. The film has been shown at film festivals around the world as a part of the NO MEANS NO series of documentaries focusing on gender-based violence.

Safety for women journalists campaign

IMS initiated a social media campaign based on our recent report on “Safety for women journalists: Breaking the cycle of silence and violence”. According to the report, women journalists face a double threat: because they are journalists and because they are women.

The challenges of women in media range from lower pay, longer working hours and lack of opportunity for advancement to severe physical abuse, online threats and personal attacks.

As part of the campaign, we talked to several women working in media who expressed their concerns as well as motivations in a series of portraits.