The Pixel Project Selection 2017: 16 Notable Anti-VAW Activists and Organisations You Should Follow on Twitter

In a hyperconnected world that is increasingly dominated by virtual communities and online news, social media has become a major influencer on and driver of how we understand activism and politics in this day and age. This has been made possible by organisations and individual activists taking to social media to expand on their anti-Violence Against Women (anti-VAW) work, putting it to work for the cause in different ways. Among the many social media platforms available, Twitter is a go-to for many people to get news updates, to find out the opinions of specialists working in a particular area about the latest happenings, and to share or engage with discussions online.

Using Twitter, anti-VAW organisations and individual activists and advocates are now able to raise awareness about issues happening in their own community in a way that is accessible  worldwide to anyone with an internet connection. Consequently, Twitter has become a helpful tool – acting as a free impromptu newsfeed for anybody wanting or needing to keep up-to-date with the anti-VAW work of various organisations and activists globally. With just a quick search for the hashtag – #vaw, for example –  a user can be acquainted with a lot of what people are doing in this area in various parts of the world and also contribute/engage in various ways with the cause.

With that in mind, The Pixel Project presents our 2017 Twitter selection to make your task easier by helping you sort your search. We narrowed down the many incredible organisations and individuals involved in the cause to end violence against women to the 16 listed below. These are organisations, grassroots groups, and people who will keep you informed simply because they share the passion to create a better tomorrow for girls and women everywhere.

Introduction by Rebecca DeLuca and Adishi Gupta; Written and compiled by Adishi Gupta.

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Twitter Follow Recommendation 1: Against Violence & Abuse (@AVAproject) – United Kingdom

AVA Project is an independent charity that aims to put an end to gender-based violence and abuse in the UK. It is a survivor-centred organisation driven by and according to the needs and comfort of survivors. The AVA Project’s Twitter account regularly posts updates about its work and also about the work by and information from various other anti-VAW organisations in the UK and beyond.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 2: Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (@GAATW_IS) – Thailand

GAATW is an independent network of anti-human trafficking non-governmental organisations from around the world. It works with trafficked and migrant women around the world and is is committed to galvanising change in the economic, political, social and legal systems and structures that contribute to the persistence of trafficking. GAATW’s Twitter account informs its followers about their latest events and programmes while disseminating useful information and articles about human trafficking worldwide.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 3: Global Network of Women’s Shelters (@WomensShelters) – International

Global Network of Women’s Shelters aims to unite the women’s shelter movement globally in order to put an end to violence against women and their children. Their Twitter account updates its followers about its global conferences about ending VAW, and useful information about the various kinds of violence women are subjected to, its effects on survivors, and the ways to combat it.

 

Twitter Follow Recommendation 4: Her Zimbabwe (@herzimbabwe) – Zimbabwe

Her Zimbabwe is a digital media publishing platform that aims to share and foreground the stories of Zimbabwean women. It publishes Zimbabwean women’s stories and voices across various categories and is a great platform to learn about their stuggles in dealing with different kinds of structural violence, including those rooted in patriarchy and racism. Her Zimbabwe’s Twitter account shares updates not just about their published articles but also about articles and information from various other platforms.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 5: Mama Cash (@mamacash) – Netherlands

Mama Cash is an international funding organisation that supports women’s, girls’ and trans people’s human rights and social justice movements around the world. Diversity is at the heart of its values and thus it supports and promotes initiatives for and by women from different sexualities, ethnicities and professions. Mama Cash’s Twitter timeline keeps its followers updated about anti-VAW news and activism by various organisations and individuals around the world. They also use their Twitter account to announce any upcoming grant application opportunities for organisations to apply for so that they can carry on with their work to fight VAW without running out of financial resources.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 6: Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) – Cairo

Mona Eltahawy, the author of “Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution,” is a public speaker and New York Times columnist focused on Arab and Muslim issues. Named one of the “150 Fearless Women of 2015” by Newsweek magazine, she is fierce in her fight against Islamophobia, violence against women, and control on women’s sexuality, and many other human rights issues. Her Twitter account is an excellent resource for  women’s rights activists and their supporters who are looking for incisive feminist commentary.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 7: Nighat Dad (@nighatdad) – Pakistan

Nighat Dad is the Executive Director of the NGO, Digital Rights Foundation in Pakistan. She is an accomplished lawyer and a human rights activist. She works at a policy level on a wide range of issues like Internet Freedom, Women and technology, Digital Security and Women’s empowerment. Ms. Dad was included in Next Generation Leaders List by TIME’s magazine for her work on helping women fight online harassment in 2015 and was awarded the Dutch government’s Human Rights Tulip awards last year.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 8: Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women (@OCTEVAW) – Canada

OCTEVAW is a nonprofit, non-partisan coalition of organisations working in the areas of feminism, anti-racism, and LGBTQ+ rights with the aim of ending gender-based violence. Its work ranges from advocacy to public education to movement-building. It does so by closing down the gaps between frontline service providers, policy makers, and the justice system via collaborating to address problems, develop educational programmes, and serve the community through political action and advocacy. Their Twitter account is a useful resource for survivors to find crisis helpline numbers and for updates on the anti-gender-based violence work of the various members of this coalition.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 9: PCVC (@pcvc2000) – India

PCVC is a nonprofit service provider for women in India who are affected by violence. They offer a wide range of services to survivors, including crisis management, legal advocacy, support and resource services. Their mission is to help rebuild lives damaged by abusive family relationships. They do so by facilitating the process of self-empowerment for women survivors of family violence. PCVC’s Twitter account regularly posts news updates related to incidents of VAW across the country, about their crisis helpline numbers and their anti-VAW work with the survivors.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 10: Rashi Vidyasagar (@mizarcle) – India

Rashi Vidyasagar is a criminologist by education and feminist crisis interventionist by training. She has provided emergency psycho-social support to survivors of sexual and domestic violence and has worked with both the Indian health and the criminal justice system to make them more survivor-centric. At present, she leads multiple teams of social workers across states who provide psycho-socio-legal support to survivors of violence in police stations. On Twitter, she talks about the role of the state in responding to and preventing violence against women and connects women asking for help with organisations who can provide help.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 11: SAFE Ireland (@SAFEIreland) – Ireland

SAFE Ireland is the national social change agency working to end domestic violence in Ireland through the use of innovative and strategic methods to transform society’s response to cases of gender-based violence. While it started out as a network of service providers, SAFE now works in close collaboration with with forty domestic violence services across communities in the country. SAFE’s Twitter account has updates about its various anti-VAW activities and useful information from other anti-VAW organisations.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 12: Sisters Uncut (@sistersglasgow) – Scotland

Sisters Uncut is a feminist group standing united with all self-identified women against domestic violence and all the other types of violence they undergo on an everyday basis. It strongly believes that safety is not a privilege and focuses on women having to live in domestic abuse situations. It is an intersectional feminist organisation and understands that every woman’s experience of violence is affected by her race, class, disability, sexuality and immigration status. Sisters Uncut’s Twitter account focuses on tweeting out informative posts on its anti-VAW work in the form of interactive posters as well as updates from various other anti-VAW organisations.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 13: The Establishment (@ESTBLSHMNT) – United States of America

The Establishment is an intersectional feminist media publishing platform that is funded and run by women. It publishes new articles everyday on various topics relevant to women including violence against women, sexuality, society, among others. The Establishment’s Twitter timeline is updated daily with new content covering feminist topics that are of interest for feminists and anyone who is interested in women’s human and civil rights issues.

 

Twitter Follow Recommendation 14: The Kering Foundation (@KeringForWomen) – International

The Kering Foundation works to combat violence against women in three different areas of the world: the Americas, Western Europe and Asia. It structures its work around three key aspects: supporting NGOs, awarding social entrepreneurs and organising awareness campaigns. Their Twitter account posts regular updates about cases of violence against women around the world and the efforts of various organisations to combat the violence.

 

Twitter Follow Recommendation 15: The Tempest (@WeAreTheTempest) – United States of America

The Tempest is a technology and media publishing platform by and for diverse millennial women, with a reach of millions of millennials per month. They ‘empower, disrupt, and amplify’ all at once. It was started with the aim of filling the gaps in the popular narrative about lives of diverse women belonging to underrepresented backgrounds. The Tempest’s Twitter account has updates not only about its various insightful articles and news, but also relevant content from other organisations concerning issues affecting women and girls.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 16:  Wear Your Voice (@WearYourVoice) – United States of America

Wear Your Voice Magazine is an American intersectional feminist media publication whose mission is to deconstruct mainstream media’s approach to news and culture through an intersectional feminist point of view. It covers a wide range of issues like women’s human rights, LGBTQIA rights, race and gender, body politics, sex, and entertainment. It publishes and writes about violence against People of Colour (POC) in general and Women of Colour (WOC) in particular. Its Twitter account is a helpful go-to for reading their articles as well as relevant information and articles from other publications about the issues that they cover.

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Photo Credits:

  1. Mona Eltahawy: From “Mona Eltahawy’s sexual revolution manifesto for Arab women” (rightnow.org)
  2. Nighat Dad: From https://twitter.com/nighatdad
  3. Rashi Vidyasagar: Courtesy of Rashi Vidyasagar

The Pixel Project Selection 2017: 16 Male Role Models Helping to Stop Violence against Women

Violence Against Women (VAW) is largely deemed as a women’s issue to be tackled by women and for women. However, VAW has a negative impact on entire communities and societies and is therefore impossible to eradicate without having men and boys on board efforts to do so. For this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence campaign, we present our second edition of  ’16 Male Role Models Helping to Stop Violence Against Women’ which features a diverse list of men who are doing their bit towards a more gender-equal world.

The men in this list believe that ending VAW is a fight and issue that should involve everyone and not just women. Many of these men are activists who have recognised that toxic masculinity and patriarchy are harmful to young boys and men. They are working directly with boys and men to empower them in order to prevent VAW from the roots. The list also looks at men who have spoken up against VAW through various mediums like demonstrations and music, using their voice to show their solidarity and bring issues of gender-based violence to the forefront. In this post-Weinstein world where so many prominent men have been revealed as domestic abusers and sexual predators, we hope our second edition of 16 male role models against violence against women will provide living examples of positive masculinity that inspire and galvanise men and boys worldwide to become a part of the solution.

It’s time to stop violence against women. Together.

Note: Information for all role model profiles is sourced via online research and is based on one or more news sources, articles and/or The Pixel Project’s own interviews with them. The main articles/reports from which these profiles have been sourced can be directly accessed via the hyperlinked titles. Please do click through to learn more about these remarkable men.

Written, researched, and compiled by Rubina Singh.

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Male Role Model #1: Ahmed Hegab – Egypt
After witnessing a young woman being assaulted by a mob of men on the street, Ahmed Hegab knew he had to do something. Speaking to USA Today, Ahmed shares, “I decided right there and then to quit my job and do everything I could to stop harassment.” Ahmed started volunteering with Harassmap and also started Men Engage, a program that trains men to stop gender-based violence and raise their voices for women’s empowerment.

Male Role Model #2: Ali Erkazan – Turkey
After the murder and attempted rape of a university student, Ali Erkazan, a Turkish actor, along with a number of other men expressed their anger through a public demonstration. The men dressed in mini-skirts to show their solidarity and demanded harsher punishment for VAW. Demanding stricter laws, Ali shares, “The absence of deterrent laws encourages them. Even the people in the government make incentive statements about the inequality of men and women under the name of Islam. We also condemn them.

Male Role Model #3: Chris Green – United Kingdom
Chris Green is the Director of the White Ribbon Campaign in the UK. The White Ribbon Campaign encourages men and boys to speak up against VAW. Chris is also a member of the UK End Violence Against Women Expert Advisory Group and the End Violence against Women Prevention Working Party. For his notable efforts, Chris has been awarded one of the highest honours in the UK – Order of the British Empire.

Male Role Model #4: Dean Peacock – South Africa
Ashoka fellow Dean Peacock is challenging gender inequality in South Africa by engaging men and boys in the fight against VAW. Dean is the Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Sonke Gender Justice Network, which works to strengthen government, civil society and citizen capacity to support men and boys to take action to promote gender equality, prevent domestic and sexual violence, and reduce the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS. Dean is also the Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the MenEngage Alliance and a member of the UN Secretary General’s Network of Men Leaders.

Male Role Model #5: Dr. Ganesh Rakh – India
In a country where girls face GBV even before they are born, Dr. Ganesh Rakh is doing his part to ensure that girls at least get a fighting chance. Noting the high rate of female feticide and infanticide, Ganesh initiated a campaign “Mulgi Vachva Abhiyan” (Save the Girl Child) in his city. While most doctors increase their fees over time, Ganesh decided that he would not charge any fee from the family if a girl child was born. Not only that, his hospital also celebrates the birth of every girl child. His ultimate aim: “I want to change attitudes – of people, doctors. The day people start celebrating a daughter’s birth, I’ll start charging my fee again.”

Male Role Model #6: Edgar Ramirez – Venezuela
Edgar Ramirez is an actor, producer, and activist from Venezuela. As a HeForShe advocate, he spoke about the impact that gender inequality has on boys and men, “In the journey for equality, women and men are like two strands of DNA wrapped together in an embrace. Our burdens are as intertwined as our common destiny. The constraints that burden me will eventually burden you. And the same is true in reverse: as long as you are burdened, I am too. By recognizing this inter-dependence, I can work for your well-being and know that I am also working towards my own. I can know that whatever action I take to free you, also frees me. This is not just what makes us human. This is what makes us a human family.

Male Role Model #7: Fang Gang – China
Fang Gang is the Director of the Institute of Sexuality and Gender Study at the Beijing Forestry University. He is also the Director of the China White Ribbon Volunteers Network. Through his work, Fang Gang is attempting to reduce the taboo around sexuality, and challenge accepted norms of masculinity in China. Sharing his views in an interview with Vice, Fang said, “I want to encourage men to be involved in promoting gender equality, including taking care of children, sharing housework, and fighting against job discrimination. In the past our work focused on people who committed violence and their victims, now we want to go back further and target regular people, asking what we should do to prevent men from committing violence in the first place.”

Male Role Model #8: Feđa Mehmedović – Bosnia and Herzegovina
Feđa Mehmedović is the Project Coordinator with the XY Association and winner of a competition promoting gender equality in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Stories of Real Men. Hecworks with men and boys to change their attitude and behaviour towards VAW. He has trained more than 10,000 young people as part of his Young Men as Allies programme in preventing violence against women. Feđa is also an advocate for the UN HeForShe campaign.

Male Role Model #9: Gary Barker – Brazil
Involving men and boys in the fight against VAW is imperative and Gary Barker has been doing just that through his organisation, Promundo. His work has been recognised by organisations such as Ashoka and the United Nations. Explaining the philosophy behind Promundo, Gary shared the following insights in an interview: “We believed, from our direct experiences in working in violence prevention in favelas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, that we would only end violence and achieve equality if we engaged men as allies, as voices for change, and as activists in the process. We were also inspired by young and adult men who wanted to be part of the movement and who were already living out equitable, non-violent ways of being men.

Male Role Model #10: Jim C. Hines – USA
Jim C. Hines is a Hugo-award winning American Fantasy writer who has been doing his bit to end sexism in the science fiction/fantasy world. He noticed that many science-fiction and fantasy cover art overtly sexualies female characters. In an effort to bring attention to the issue, he decided to contort himself into the various poses that women are put into. But, his efforts go much beyond gender-flipped covers. After he found out about a friend’s rape, he decided to work towards ending VAW in different ways. He has previously worked as a crisis counsellor, written articles and a novel around VAW, and he is also one of the only authors whose website has an entire section dedicated to resources for survivors of rape and sexual assault. Jim has also actively supported The Pixel Project by being a part of our campaigns such as Read for Pixels.

Male Role Model #11: Michael Flood – Australia
Holding a PhD in Gender and Sexuality Studies, Michael Flood researches masculinity and violence prevention. His research indicates that a man’s understanding of masculinity can lead to VAW. In an interview with Huffington Post Australia, he says, “It’s very clear that if we compare the men that do use violence and the men that don’t, one key difference is in their ideas about being a man. Men (who) use violence are much more likely to be invested in the idea to be a man is to be in control, dominant and have power over women. Those ideas about masculinity link to broader patterns of gender inequality. And really, it’s gender inequality that shapes some men’s use of violence against women.

Male Role Model #12: Noel Cabangon – The Philippines
Music has the power to reach any corner of the world. Noel Cabangon, a Filipino singer and songwriter, used the power of music through his song Men Move to encourage men to “bring all violence against women to an end”. The song was originally written for the Philippine Commission of Women and was later adapted for the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign.

Male Role Model #13: Nur Hasyim – Indonesia
While he has been working for women’s rights for many years, in 2006, Nur Hasyim started working towards engaging men and boys to end VAW. He is the founder and head of ‘Aliansi Laki-Laki Baru’ (New Men Alliance) in Indonesia, a national pro-feminist men’s movement. His research in the field has led to the development of a curriculum towards behaviour change for male abusive partners. Recognising his work, Nur has been included by the United Nations in the Secretary General’s Network of Men Leaders.

Male Role Model #14: Ravi Karkara – United States of America and Worldwide
Ravi Karkara is Senior Advisor on Strategic Partnerships and Advocacy to the Assistant Secretary General to the UN and Deputy Executive Director, UN Women. Ravi has been fighting to end violence against women since the beginning of his career. Not only is he working with women, he also believes in the importance of working with men to end VAW. Ravi shared his views on working with boys and men in a recent interview: “While we need to teach women and girls how to fight for their human rights, we also need to focus on boys and change their attitudes towards girls and women.

Male Role Model #15: Salif Keita – Mali
Popularly known as the “Golden Voice of Africa”, Salif Keita has been using his art for activism. A vocal supporter of women’s rights, he has endorsed the UN HeforShe campaign as well. In a message for the campaign, Salif said, “The world is undergoing change and modernization in the right direction, and for every man who recognises the value and role of women, we must be sensitised to act for their well-being.”

Male Role Model #16: William Gay – United States of America
As a young boy, NFL Star William Gay lost his mother because of domestic violence. Having felt the impact of VAW so closely, William understands the need to end VAW. While William found professional success with NFL, he wanted to use his star power to shine a light on gender-based violence. Among many other initiatives, William supports the Women’s Center and Shelter in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. He uses his time at the shelter to speak to the survivors and share his story. In an interview with People Magazine, he shared, “I want people out there to know that someone in the NFL has been that child who lost their mother and is willing to do anything to end domestic violence.

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Photo Credits:

  1. Ahmed Hegab – from Linkedin.com
  2. Ali Erkazan – From Alticine.com
  3. Chris Green – From “Parliaments United In Combating Domestic Violence Against Women” (Council of Europe)
  4. Dean Peacock – From “Sonke Gender Justice”
  5. Dr. Ganesh Rakh – From “Ganesh Rakh: The doctor who delivers India’s girls for free” (Anushree Fadnavis/BBC News)
  6. Edgar Ramirez – From “Edgar Ramirez, Emma Watson use star power to push for gender equality at UN event” (Rob Kim/Fox News)
  7. Fang Gang – From “Fang Gang: Sex Education Should be Implemented Early” (Chinese Women’s Research Network)
  8. Feđa Mehmedović – From “Stories of Real Men – Feđa Mehmedović”
  9. Gary Barker – From “Network of Men Leaders” (UNiTE)
  10. Jim C. Hines – Courtesy of Jim C. Hines
  11. Michael Flood – From “Is ‘Engaging Men’ the Game Changer for Gender Equality” (Annual Diversity Debate)
  12. Noel Cabangon – From “Noel Cabangon ‘inspired’ by Pope Francis visit” (The Philippine Star)
  13. Nur Hasyim – From “World Press Freedom Day 2017” (UNESCO)
  14. Ravi Karkara – From “Meet the People Extraordinaire – Ravi Karkara” (Sayfty)
  15. Salif Keita – From “Salif Keita – The “Golden Voice of Africa”
  16. William Gay – From NFL star reveals heartbreaking moment he came home from school to discover his mother shot dead by his stepdad in murder-suicide

Transforming Personal Pain Into Positive Action: The Pixel Project’s 16 Female Role Models 2017

Today is the first day of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence 2017 campaign and The Pixel Project is kicking things off with our 6th annual list of 16 female role models fighting to end violence against women in their communities. The intent of this list is simple: to highlight the good work of the heroines of the movement to end violence against women wherever they are in the world. The women and girls in this year’s list hail from 15 countries and 6 continents.

Many of these outstanding women and girls have shown that it is possible to transform personal pain that came out of facing gender-based violence, into positive action to stop violence against women, empower themselves and to show other survivors that it is possible to move forward with dignity and happiness. They have refused to let bitterness and pain get the better of them, opting to stand up for themselves and for other women and girls instead.

Others on this list may not have experienced gender-based violence inflicted on themselves but they have stepped up to do what is right: to speak up for women and girls who cannot do it for themselves, sometimes at great personal risk. All this requires immense courage, generosity of spirit and a strong, enduring heart.

Without further ado, here in alphabetical order by first name is our 2017 list of 16 female role models. We hope that these women would be an inspiration to others to get involved with the cause. To that end, we hope you will generously share this list via Facebook and Twitter to give these extraordinary 16 women and their work a moment in the sun.

It’s time to stop violence against women. Together.

Note: Information for all role model profiles is sourced via online research and is based on one or more news sources, articles and/or The Pixel Project’s own interviews with them. The main articles/reports from which these profiles have been sourced can be directly accessed via the hyperlinked titles. Please do click through to learn more about these remarkable women.

Written and compiled by Regina Yau

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Female Role Model 1: Ana Salvá – Spain

Bangkok-based Spanish freelance journalist Ana Salva arrived in Southeast Asia in 2014, eventually focusing on reporting about violence against women in Cambodia. In 2016, she began investigating the crime of forced marriage and forced pregnancy under the Khmer Rouge regime and its impact on the mental and physical health of women. This resulted in an incisive article published by The Diplomat – “The Forced Pregnancies of the Khmer Rouge”. She said: “The international criminal laws continue to lack [interest] to address gender crimes that have impacted women worldwide. And for forced pregnancy, a lot of cases are forgotten. No international courts have pursued forced pregnancy to date. That is the problem for the future too, I think.”

Female Role Model 2: Anuja Gupta – India

Anuja Gupta is one of India’s leading experts on the issue of incest/child sexual abuse. In 1996, at a time when no one in the country was talking about this taboo subject, Anuja started the non-profit RAHI Foundation, India’s first incest/child sexual abuse response organisation. RAHI’s work has laid the foundation for this issue to come to light and continues to shape the way it is addressed in the country. Anuja said: “Everyone has to make violence against women and children their issue and I think the strongest action we can take is to not lose momentum regardless of our social or political contexts. No matter how far away it may seem, always keep an eye on the goal of a world free of violence.”

Female Role Model 3: Carrie Goldberg – United States of America

Carrie Goldberg is a pioneer in the field of sexual privacy who uses her legal expertise and the law to defend victims of revenge porn and other forms of cyber violence against women. The impetus for starting her own firm to tackle the issue of online sexual privacy and harassment came when she was harassed by a vengeful ex who threatened to send intimate pictures she’d given him to her professional colleagues. Today, her law firm, C.A. Goldberg, PLLC focuses on Internet privacy and abuse, domestic violence, and sexual consent. Goldberg is also a Board Member and Volunteer Attorney at the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative and its End Revenge Porn campaign.

Female Role Model 4: Daisy Coleman – United States of America

Daisy Coleman was 14 when she was raped and left on her family’s front lawn in the small town where she grew up, enduring a backlash from the townsfolk who subjected her to intense victim-blaming, cyberbullying, and slut-shaming. Today, Coleman is an anti-sexual assault activist and co-founder of SafeBAE (Safe Before Anyone Else) to help prevent sexual violence and educate young people in the U.S. about the issue and to stand together with teen sex assault victims. As part of her work, she also appeared in Netflix’s documentary Audrie & Daisy about her experience.

Female Role Model 5: Hera Hussain – Pakistan and the United Kingdom

Hera Hussain is the founder of Chayn, a UK-based open source gender and tech project that builds platforms, toolkits, and runs hackathons to empower women facing violence and the organisations supporting them. Chayn’s resources and services include pro bono work for anti-violence against women organisations as well as a groundbreaking toolkit for women who want to build their own Domestic Violence case is so valuable to women who cannot afford legal representation. She says: “Tech gives us the chance to reach a wide audience on shoe-string budget and enable those women who are looking to understand what is happening to them and what to do about it.”

Female Role Model 6: Karla Jacinto – Mexico

Karla Jacinto was lured into forced prostitution at the age of 12 by a human trafficker who offered her money, gifts and the promise of a better life. By age 16, she estimates that she had been raped 43,200 times as she was forced to service up to 30 men a day daily for four years. Karla was rescued in 2008 as part of an anti-trafficking operation in Mexico City and is now fighting back against Mexico’s human trafficking crisis by raising awareness of how the criminals work so potential victims can spot red flags.

Female Role Model 7: Kerstin Weigl – Sweden

Kerstin Weigl is a journalist who has been awarded the “Lukas Bonnier´s Grand  Prize for Journalism” for her unique study of all the women who have died in Sweden as a result of violence in close relationships during the 2000s. The investigation was undertaken together with Kristina Edblom, for the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, uncovering and reporting the stories of 267 women since the series began. Kerstin is also the co-founder of Cause of Death: Woman, an investigative report on violence against women the US, South Africa, Egypt, Sweden, Pakistan, Mexico, Brazil, Congo, Spain and Russia.

Female Role Model 8: Malebogo Malefhe – Botswana

In 2009, Malebogo Malefhe was shot eight times by her boyfriend, putting her in a wheelchair for life. Malefhe, a former basketball player for Botswana’s national team, has devoted herself to fighting domestic violence in her native Botswana and combatting culturally-ingrained victim-blaming by teaching women that it is not their fault when men hurt them. She told NPR: “I tell women to look at the signs while they still have the time. Walk out while they still have the chance. […] I tell women that every time a crime is perpetrated, they should report it. […] Women need education to open them up to the realisation that abuse is prevalent and they need to find ways to overcome it.

Female Role Model 9: Marijana Savic, Serbia

In 2004, Marijana Savic founded Atina as part of the response of “the women’s movement in Serbia to the problem of human trafficking, and non-existence of adequate programmes of long-term support for the victims and help in their social inclusion”. Atina became the first safehouse for victims of trafficking in the country and provides comprehensive support for survivors of violence, exploitation and human trafficking in Serbia. Marijana said: “A person who survived violence needs more than accommodation. […] A right solution for many women is to get support from the community, to understand why the violence is happening, to have full support in safe place, which does not always have to be a safe house.”

Female Role Model 10: Paradise Sourori – Afghanistan

Paradise Sourori is Afghanistan’s first female rapper. Over the last eight years, she has had to flee her country twice, received numerous threats of rape, death, and acid attacks as well as being brutally beaten by 10 men on the street – all because she refuses to stop singing about the gender-based violence and injustices suffered by Afghan women. “[The police] told me I should stop singing,” says Paradise. “That’s when I knew that if I stayed silent, nothing would change.” Today she has resettled in Berlin, Germany and continues to make her music to champion Afghan women.

Female Role Model 11: Ronelle King – Barbados

Ronelle King is a rape and sexual assault survivor who had enough of the nonchalant cultural and social attitude towards violence against women and girls in Barbados. She “had the idea to start a hashtag that would create a forum for Caribbean women to share their daily experiences of sexual harassment and abuse” and so the #LifeInLeggings hashtag and movement was born. The movement has spread rapidly throughout the Caribbean region, The National Women’s Commission of Belize supports the group and UN Women has partnered with them to assist with regional projects.

Female Role Model 12:  Saida Ali – Kenya

Saida Ali was 16 when her older sister fled back to her family home after being assaulted by her husband. Ali helped her sister leave the abusive marriage and that was the start of her lifelong commitment to stopping violence against women. Today, Saida is the executive director of Kenya’s Coalition on Violence Against Women, taking on domestic violence and rape cases across Kenya. Her campaign, Justice for Liz, was waged on behalf of a schoolgirl who was raped and left for dead. The campaign garnered international media attention and the perpetrators were eventually jailed.

Female Role Model 13: Samra Zafar – United Arab Emirates and Canada

Samra Zafar arrived in Canada as a 16-year-old bride in an arranged marriage to an abusive husband who beat, controlled, and raped her. Determined to escape her marriage, she managed to squirrel away a few hundred dollars now and then even though her husband forced her to give up her earnings to him. With her savings and multiple scholarships, she funded her education, earning Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Economics from the University of Toronto with the highest distinctions. Today, Samra is the founder of Brave Beginnings, an organisation dedicated to helping women rebuild their lives after oppression and abuse.

Female Role Model 14: Sharmin Akter – Bangladesh

Sharmin Akter was only 15 years old when her mother attempted to coerce her into marriage to a man decades older than her. However, instead of surrendering to family wishes, she spoke up to protest for her right to an education. In recognition of her courage, she was awarded the 2017 International Women of Courage Award from the US State Department. Sharmin is now studying at Jhalakathi Rajapur Pilot Girls High School to fulfil her goal to become a human rights lawyer fighting against the harmful tradition of forced marriages.

Female Role Model 15: Stephanie Harvey – Canada

Stephanie Harvey is a five-time world champion in competitive Counter-Strike, and longtime female pro-gaming icon. In her 16 years in e-Sports as a player and 7 years as a games developer, she has routinely pushed back and spoken out against toxic misogyny, sexism, and the chronic online harassment of female gamers that is endemic in the gaming world. As part of her activism, she co-founded MissCliks, a gaming community group currently focused on “recognising the under-representation of women as role models in geek and gaming culture, giving support and exposure to those female role models, and helping to create a culture of authenticity, advocacy, unity, and bravery.”

Female Role Model 16: Vera Baird – United Kingdom

Commissioner Dame Vera Baird is an outspoken advocate for stopping violence against women in her capacity as the police and crime commissioner for Northumbria. She has publicly spoken out against a judge who made victim-blaming comments regarding a rape case and was recently negotiating with local government officials in an attempt to stop the withdrawal of funding for women’s refuges in Sunderland. Prior to becoming a police commissioner, she was a lawyer who championed feminist protesters, took on pregnancy discrimination cases, and influenced law in domestic violence cases. Baird was made a Dame in December 2016 in recognition of her life-long fight for gender equality.

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Photo Credits:

  1. Ana Salvá – From “Q&A: Journalist Ana Salvá on the Crimes of Forced Marriage and Forced Pregnancy Under the Khmer Rouge” (VOA Cambodia)
  2. Anuja Gupta – Courtesy of the RAHI Foundation
  3. Carrie Goldberg – From http://www.cagoldberglaw.com/team/carrie-goldberg/
  4. Daisy Coleman – Courtesy of Safebae.org
  5. Hera Hussain – Courtesy of Hera Hussain
  6. Karla Jacinto – From “Human Trafficking Survivor Karla Jacinto Was Raped 43,200 Times as a Teen, Now She’s Telling Her Story to Congress and the Pope” (Seventeen)
  7. Kerstin Weigl – From https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kerstin_Weigl_2015-11-06_001.jpg
  8. Malebogo Malefhe – From “Shot By Her Boyfriend And Now Using A Wheelchair, She Found A ‘New Me’” (Ryan Eskalis/NPR)
  9. Marijana Savic – From “Four women’s rights activists you need to know” (Atina/UNFPA)
  10. Paradise Sorouri – From “Afghanistan’s first female rapper: ‘If I stay silent, nothing will change’” (Eliot Stein/The Guardian)
  11. Ronelle King – From https://www.youtube.com/user/purehazeleyes
  12. Saida Ali – From “The Activist Taking On Patriarchy To End Domestic Violence In Kenya” (The Huffington Post)
  13. Samra Zafar – From “The Good Wife” (Luis Mora/Toronto Life)
  14. Sharmin Akter – From “Fighting Early Marriage: Bangladeshi girl to receive US award” (The Daily Star)
  15. Stephanie Harvey – Courtesy of Stephanie Harvey
  16. Vera Baird – From “Northumbria Police boss Vera Baird made a Dame in New Year’s Honours list” (www.chroniclelive.co.uk)

The Pixel Project Selection 2016: 16 Of The Pixel Project’s Best Interview Articles

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For the past 8 years, The Pixel Project has worked at the intersection of social media, pop culture, the arts, journalism, activism, and new technologies to shine a light on the the many ways violence against women (VAW) affects the lives of women and girls in communities and cultures worldwide.

Blogging is one of the major pillars of our social media-driven awareness-raising and educational work. More than any other social media platforms that we use, blogging empowers us to present in-depth articles, op-eds and interviews that go beyond the soundbites. As we grew as an anti-VAW organisation, we have gradually focused our blogging efforts on interviews to help activists, allies and survivors tell their stories and share their ideas with others first-hand.

In 2016, we marched on with our annual interview-format blogging campaigns:

Together, these interviews form an inspirational tapestry of ideas, stories, and calls-to-action from remarkable individuals, communities and allies that are at the front lines of bringing the change that is so desperately needed to end VAW.

If you have missed any of our blog interview campaigns this year or are new to The Pixel Project’s work, this selection of this year’s 16 best Pixel Project blog interview articles of 2016 will be a great starting point. We hope that the stories we share motivate you to join the effort to end VAW.

It’s time to stop violence against women. Together.

Written and compiled by Regina Yau and Suloshini Jahanath. Introduction by Regina Yau.

All headshots courtesy of the interviewees.
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Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #1: Survivor Stories Interview – Becky Paroz, Australia

becky-paroz_headshotcWhile Becky had an award-winning career as a project manager in the construction industry, her alter ego Bekstar was the personality that learned to manage the outcomes of growing up in a domestic violence situation and being diagnosed with a crippling disease while still a teenager. Her published writings capture her insights, journey, horror and humour that encapsulates her life, including the solutions she found to live her life to the fullest. Speaking about how she went about rebuilding her life after escaping her situation, she says: My main thought for the aftermath is that while I could not choose what happened to me during [my father’s] controlling years, I could certainly choose my actions beyond that point. Making conscious choices about what I want as a person, instead of what I don’t want as a result of those experiences, is the most clear way I can phrase how I have become the successful person I am today.

Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #2: 30 For 30 Father’s Day Campaign Interview – Bernardo Rosa Rodriguez, Portugal

Bernardo Rodriguez is a public relations professional in Brussels who has lived in Rome, Jakarta and Washington DC. He has contributed to progressive political groups and campaigns (including women’s human rights causes) for many years. When talking about how dads can help stop VAW, he says: “The first step is to set the example and treat all girls and women respectfully and as equals. […]Young men need to be told that being a man is not about force or domination. It’s about respecting others and not being afraid to stand up and call out abusive language or behaviour, even (especially!) in your own circles. Because it’s time this stops being acceptable.”

Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #3: Survivor Stories Interview – Elizabeth K. Switaj, USA and Marshall Islands

elizabeth-switaj_croppedElizabeth is a survivor of intimate relationship violence. She currently teaches literature, creative writing and composition at the College of the Marshall Islands on Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands, where she lives with four formerly feral cats, including one with twisted back legs. She is the author of literary guide James Joyce’s Teaching Life and Methods and a collection of poems, Magdalene & the Mermaids. Speaking about ways to end VAW, she says: We need better education about what healthy relationships look like. When I say education, I’m not referring only to formal in-school lessons, but also to media narratives. As an academic, my specialisation is pedagogy in literature. If the experimental texts of High Modernism can teach readers how to understand them, then surely texts can show us how to have relationships without violence and how to recognise and escape toxic situations.

Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #4: 30 for 30 Father’s Day Campaign Interview – Evanson Njeru, Kenya

evanson-njeru_croppedEvanson Njeru is a community social worker and human rights activist who grew up on the slopes of Mount Kenya. Although he struggled a lot as a village boy who didn’t have many opportunities, he eventually attained a college education. Evanson is now the founder of Compassion CB – an organisation that advocates for the right of women and girls in Kenya through education and sustainable development, as well as anti-female genital mutilation campaigns in villages and schools. When talking about how fathers and how other male role models can help the younger generation step up to prevent VAW, he had this to say: Fathers and other male role models must take up the challenge of being men fighting for the rights of women. Men could help come up with policies that promote rights for women and girls. Young men and boys should be educated and made to understand that violence against women is a violation of human rights. They should also be made to understand some cultural beliefs undermine women and violate their rights.

Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #5: Inspirational Interview – Fraidy Reiss, United States of America

headshot Fraidy Reiss_croppedFraidy Reiss is a forced marriage survivor and the founder of Unchained At Last, a nonprofit organisation in the U.S. dedicated to helping women and girls leave or avoid arranged/forced marriages and rebuild their lives. Unchained provides free legal and social services and emotional support, while also raising awareness and pushing for relevant legislation. Fraidy says: “I wish I knew exactly how to end violence against women forever. I don’t, but I know that we move closer to that goal when we, women and men, are vigilant and outspoken – that is, when we identify and call attention to instances of institutionalised patriarchy and sexism. We must not overlook or accept; we must not become complacent.”

Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #6: 30 For 30 Father’s Day Campaign Interview – John Nolan, Australia.

john-nolan_croppedJohn Nolan is the Founder and Director of DadsUNI, a Christian ministry assisting in the development of strong families in modern society with a focus on the role of young fathers. DadsUNI teaches the elements of Understanding, Nurturing and Imparting to assist young dads in this all-important role. ’52 Tips For Fathers’ is their most popular course and available for free on their website. When talking about ways to prevent VAW, he says: I personally believe that the change required in our society to stop violence against women must be addressed by using many different approaches, and without doubt positive male role models do play an important part. Learned behaviours are passed down from generation to generation – violent fathers create violent sons. It is a behavioural cycle of abuse and/or violence, and it is our job to look for ways to break that cycle.

Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #7: Survivor Stories Interview – Leslie Ann Epperson, United States of America

leslie-epperson_croppedLeslie Ann Epperson is an Emmy Award winning cultural and natural history documentary filmmaker for PBS affiliates who endured sexism and misogyny in television and was in an abusive marriage for many years. Leslie is now dedicated to following her own path, and takes great joy in mentoring younger women artists and filmmakers. When talking about stopping VAW, she says: “Education is key. We must teach our children to respect all of life, human and otherwise, and learn to care for ourselves, each other, and our world in equal measure. It is a spiritual journey, and I think humanity is on the right path, even though it often seems too slow. Much has changed in my lifetime—and much remains to be transformed. We must teach children that love really is the answer, and that violence never works. Violence only begets more of the same.”

Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #8: 30 For 30 Father’s Day Campaign Interview – Michael Cheang, Malaysia.

michael-cheang_croppedMichael is a journalist with a daily newspaper in Malaysia, specialising in entertainment and beverage news. He has a strong interest in all things pop culture, like Star Wars, Transformers, and he is trying to share these interests with his 2-year-old daughter. When speaking about ways to educate the younger generation to step up and prevent VAW, he says: A father has to take a stand against this sort of thing and be more proactive in educating his kids about violence against women, and that it is NOT okay to hit women (or even other men, for that matter). If the son should come across incidents like that and tell the father, the father should not brush it off as someone else’s problem, and should instead educate the son properly on why it is wrong.

Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #9: 30 for 30 Father’s Day Campaign Interview – Mike Toma, Iraq

mike-toma_croppedMike is from Iraq and is a progressive, freethinking individual with open ideologies on political and governmental reforms. He has a BA in Business Administration and currently working towards a master’s in project management. He is also a science and astronomy enthusiast with an interest in the betterment of education, an advocate for free college education, social democratic reforms and science literacy among common people. When talking about how fathers and how other male role models can help the younger generation step up to prevent VAW, he says: If my child views me as someone who values her/his mother, they will understand that this is the way to treat others. If my son sees me respecting his mother, he will have that attitude towards other women. If my daughter sees how I treat her mother with care and respect, she will understand that she has the right to defend herself and not take any kind of verbal and/or physical abuse and not allow others to take advantage of her.

Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #10: Survivor Stories Interview – Palesa Mompe, South Africa

palesa-mompei_croppedPalesa Mompe is a survivor of child rape and sexual abuse. Now an active member of CLIMB Against Sexual Abuse, she has retired from the corporate world and is actively involved in transforming young people to new thinking where they can explore a different view of themselves and their realities. She spends her time working as a facilitator and coach with NGOs that aim to promote health on a social and economic level. In her interview with The Pixel Project, she says: “I would like women to remember that no matter the circumstances of the abuse, we never ask nor do we deserve the violation and humiliation that comes with abuse. It is critical to find our voice because silence is a way of allowing the perpetrator to silence us. We give power to them and increase myths such as victim-blaming.”

Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #11: Inspirational Interview – Rujuta Teredesai, India

rujuta-teredesai_croppedRujuta Teredesai Heron, co-founder of Equal Community Foundation, has been working in the development sector for around 10 years. She specialises in programme management, fundraising, and communications. Having studied English Literature and Print Journalism, she is a trained journalist. She joined the Equal Community Foundation because she has tremendous faith in the concept of engaging boys and men as a part of the solution. Rujuta says: “Men’s attitudes and behaviours towards women are the root cause of the problem of violence and discrimination against women and girls. If we are to solve this problem, then we must engage boys and men in the solution. Unfortunately, a majority of men do not have the opportunity to learn about equality and the role they play in it. We recognise that we need to provide boys and men with knowledge, skills, peer support and leadership/role models to prevent violence and discrimination against women.”

Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #12: Inspirational Interview – Sahar Khan, India

sahar-khan_croppedSahar Khan is founder of the Stanford and Hyderabad-based tech platform Zariya that connects women who face VAW with help in a swift and safe manner. When talking to The Pixel Project about Zariya’s work at the intersection of anti-VAW activism and new technologies, she says: “Survivors do not have singular needs but a multitude of needs (legal, economic, medical etc.); hence there is a obligation for a coordination mechanism among providers on the ground. We aim to build the strong coordination mechanisms between the variety of services and expedite necessary knowledge and action between them to deliver the best outcome for survivors.”

Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #13: Inspirational Interview – Sayydah Garrett, Canada and Kenya

sayydah-garrett_croppedBorn in Montreal, Canada, Sayydah Garrett is the Co-Founder & President of Pastoralist Child Foundation (PCF) which aims to end female genital mutilation (FGM) in Samburu County, Kenya. Together with PCF’s Co-Founder, Samuel Leadismo, Sayydah runs PCF’s anti-FGM programmes which is built on helping Samburu’s families and communities have a stake in ending FGM while helping girls get an education for a brighter future. Sayydah says: “The Samburu community now prefers education as the Alternative Rite of Passage to replace FGM. By educating both girls and boys there is a greater chance that we will succeed in eradicating FGM and child marriage. Workshop attendees learn the great benefits of not mutilating girls. Our workshops are wildly popular! The youth understand that when girls are healthy, educated, happy and enjoying life, things are better for everyone.”

Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #14: Inspirational Interview – Tania Rashid, Bangladesh

Tania Rashid_croppedTania Rashid, a freelance correspondent, multimedia journalist working in print and photography, and the producer of the short documentary, “A Crime Unpunished: Bangladeshi Gang Rape”.  She has covered human interest stories for Vice News in Bangladesh on gang rape and the lives of sex workers. Most recently Rashid hosted a piece for Al Jazeera’s 101 East on child marriage. When talking to The Pixel Project about how the mainstream media can do better with reporting on VAW, Tania recommended the following: “The media needs to give voices to journalists of colour – female journalists of colour, because we have access to worlds and terrains that a parachute reporter probably would never get. The first step is for the media to recognise and give a chance to reporters who can bring these very deep stories to light in a respectful way, and with understanding of a particular culture, where it is not just anthropological or half-assed. That is what I do, and I think more women should have that opportunity.”

Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #15: 30 For 30 Father’s Day Campaign Interview – Travis Greenley, Canada

travis-greenley_croppedA proud father to an 11 year old daughter, Travis joined Family Transition Place (FTP), which is the organisation in his community trying to promote gender equality and stop violence against women and girls. He helped start and volunteers for a men’s engagement committee (MENtors) and is also a Youth Educator with FTP. He travels to schools to promote, role model for and teach youth about healthy and unhealthy relationships and all its related topics (stereotypes, empathy, discrimination, self-esteem). Speaking about to educating the younger generation on ways to prevent VAW, he says: I believe that as a society we need to spend less time telling men and boys what not to do. Instead, we need to empower boys and men with what they can do to make a positive difference in our culture. We should encourage them to become educated on the issue of violence against women and gender inequality.

Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #16: Inspirational Interview – Yasi Safinya-Davies, United States of America

dr-yasi-safinya-davies_croppedDr. Yasi Safinya-Davies has been serving survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault since 2009. She completed her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Alliant International University, California School of Professional Psychology. Her professional focus is specific to issues concerning women, the impacts of trauma, and severe/chronic psychological conditions. In October 2015, she became the executive director of SAVE, a domestic violence nonprofit in Californa. When talking about how communities can mitigate the risks of VAW, she says: “As a community, we can mitigate these challenges by providing girls equal opportunities to education, by examining our permission of male dominance and aggression, by eliminating the purchasing of girls and women as commodities. We can keep score and publicise the equitable or inequitable practices toward women of corporations, education systems, politicians, and advertising agencies. We can make it safe to say, “I am a survivor.”  We can acknowledge that domestic violence affects all of us.”

How To Disrupt 16 Practices of Gender-based Violence In College Life

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Every year, we are pleased to welcome a guest “16 For 16” article from our partner, Breakthrough – a global human rights organisation working to make violence and discrimination against women and girls unacceptable. Their cutting-edge multimedia campaigns, community mobilisation, agenda setting, and leadership training equip men and women worldwide to challenge the status quo and take bold action for the dignity, equality, and justice of all.

This year, Breakthrough shares a list of 16 actions that college students can take to disrupt violence against women in college life.

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Many rigid gender norms–cultural rules about how people should behave because of their perceived gender–can cause harm because they perpetuate a culture where gender-based violence is seen as a normal or even inevitable part of the college experience. Some of these practices have become so normalized in college and university life that they can seem impossible to change. But YOU can become an agent of change by unpacking the norms that drive these practices, and thinking outside the box to disrupt and challenge the ways these cultural norms cause harm to students in your community.

Here are 16 examples of gender norms in practice that we’ll bet you’ve come across before. Are some of these prevalent at your university? If you’re interested in disrupting and transforming any of these practices on your campus, Breakthrough’s Action Hotline is a great resource to get you started! We offer free mentorship for students looking to change culture on campuses across the U.S., and help you brainstorm, plan, and implement your idea for action.

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Practice #1 – “Ladies Night!”

You’ve probably seen this in the form of “women drink for free” or “$2 cover for ladies.” – the promise of drunk women in a way that promotes rape culture. Possible disruptive actions? Satirise the ways in which drunk women are used as objects in advertising to call this practice out for what it is. Create media campaigns that show how pervasive–and harmful–this practice is, and model new ways of getting customers and making money that don’t involve rape culture.

Practice #2 – Victim blaming (Among Peers)

Bullying or shaming survivors of violence, often by suggesting that they were responsible for their own victimisation as opposed to placing blame on the person who chose to commit an act of violence. This can increase the incidence and harmful effect of violence. Potential disruptive actions? A “No Blame” campaign – Collect and share examples of victim blaming on campus and offer solutions and healthier frameworks. Respond to victim blaming by flooding social media or apps like YikYak with positive messages calling out this practice. You and your friends dress up as referees – striped shirts and whistles – and throw a flag when you hear or see victim blaming behavior.

Practice #3 – Victim blaming (Institutional/Systemic)

Rules and policies enforced (or not enforced) by administrators and staff place blame on the actions of the victims, and not on the person that chose to commit violence against them. It is asking survivors what they were wearing, how much they drank, or what they could have done differently to avoid violence. Potential disruptive actions? Run a spotlight campaign focused on highlighting what should be included in school policy, and explaining the harms caused by institutional victim blaming. Speak out to local and national media when cases of institutional victim-blaming occur to bring external pressure to bear on the situation.

Practice #4 – “Rating” Women Based on Their Looks and Sexual Availability to Men

This practice can be a formal system among a specific group on campus, or an informal “in-joke” most often amongst men. It sounds like “she’s a ten” or language like “grenade” used to refer to women. Whatever the language, this practice says that a woman’s value is based on her looks and sexuality, creating a culture where men are pressured to have sex with certain women, and women are expected and pressured into sex or are assaulted and raped. Potential disruptive actions? Whistleblowing – reveal the depths of this practice if it has become a tradition. Make it clear that it happens on your campus and will not happen anymore – take inspiration from the Harvard Women’s Soccer team.

Practice #5 – Sexual Scoring

Like so many harmful norms, this one has a long history in language like “notches on your belt or bedpost”. This practice arises out of the idea that masculinity = having lots of heterosexual sex, and coercive and non-consensual behavior often become accepted parts of the game. Potential disruptive actions? Get competitive instead about calling out actions that pressure people to have sex. Keep score on that and share strategies and tips to step up your game.

Practice #6 – Taking/recording Photos/Video Without Consent

Whether through hacking, hidden cameras, or in other ways, taking intimate or degrading photos, videos, Snapchats and more without the person’s knowledge, permission, or consent causes harm whether it is shared or not. Potential disruptive actions? Use stories of people affected by this practice to create understanding of the harms and impacts it causes. Transform conversations around sexual consent to include discussions of intimate photos and videos.

Practice #7 – Non-Consensual Photo/Video Sharing

Often existing alongside the previous practice, the act of sharing or threatening to share intimate photos and videos without their consent (even if they were taken with consent!) as an unacceptable violation that often causes harm, shame, and stigma. Potential disruptive actions? Use storytelling to encourage a sex-positive, non-shaming approach to conversations around intimate photos. Run reactive campaigns when incidents occur that show solidarity with victims.

Practice #8 – “Rush boobs” (And Other Trophies)

An often formalised component of sexual scoring is the collection of “trophies”, sexually objectifying women and creating a culture that pressures men to “get” sex however they can. Trophies and a high score are prioritised over consent and respect. According to Total Frat Move: “Since the dawn of the internet, fraternity members have been convincing girls to write “Rush (Insert Fraternity Here)” across their chests for promotional purposes.” Potential Disruptive actions? Call out and replace this practice by writing “RUSH __” on random objects to showcase the absurdity of the tradition. Flood social media with this on the relevant hashtags.

Practice #9 – The “Friendzone”

Ah – the “friendzone”. The idea that “nice guys” are entitled to the romantic or sexual interest of a woman, and that men are “victims” of women only wanting to be friends with them (the horror!). This is one of the more insidious and seemingly benign components of rape culture and really needs to go. Potential disruptive actions? Create a multimedia campaign using examples of the “friendzone” from pop culture– TV shows, lyrics, films, or blogs. Talk about the inherent sexism and use this idea to elevate discussions around consent and autonomy. Designate a space on campus to be an actual “friend zone” – where people of all genders can just be friends without the pressure of sex, or a space where friends can be honest with each other about their expectations of their relationship. Or maybe a space to keep anyone who complains about being in…….the friendzone.

Practice #10 – Shaming Women’s Sexuality (“Slut-shaming”)

This age-old practice of using loaded language to shame women for their sexuality or their appearance is a prime example of the double-standard for women when it comes to sex (see “sexual scoring” above). Potential disruptive actions? Take the shame out of sexuality through sex-positive storytelling. Offer new ways to talk about the moments that are often linked to slut-shaming (AKA “the walk of shame” becomes the “stride of pride”).

Practice #11 – Rape Culture Banners (“Drop Your Daughters Off Here, Dads”)

Every fall, massive banners displayed across Fraternity houses meant to intimidate new students – particularly first year women – are unfurled (trust us, you can google it). These banners often contain threatening and offensive messages that trivialize sexual assault. Potential disruptive actions? Take inspiration from Will & Bill who started Banner Up! At Indiana University in response to rape culture banners at their school. Get dads involved since these banners often implicate them as well.

Practice #12 – Control of Access to Alcohol

On many campuses, men (and most often, fraternities) have control over other students’ access to alcohol. Students, and especially underage students, have limited access to alcohol, which creates greater opportunity to isolate, coerce, force alcohol on, and sexually assault others. Potential disruptive actions? Flip the script – put women or other groups in charge of access to alcohol for a change. Work with chapters at other schools to challenge problematic policies and rules at a national level.

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Practice #13 – Homophobia and Transphobia

Dehumanising LGBT folk through discrimination, violence, and the use of homophobic and transphobic language is a problem in and of itself. It also is used to regulate and police other people’s behaviors and reinforces inequity and violence. Potential disruptive actions? Build empathy culture: create systems of peer accountability for homophobic and transphobic behavior. If you are not LGBT yourself, center the experiences of LGBT students in your work on your own campus and build strong alliances.

Practice #14 – “The Perfect Victim

The practice of discrediting victims based on their sexual history, appearance, gender, race, or any other facet of their identity is common and is a part of victim blaming. Promoting the idea of a “perfect victim” makes it easier to disbelieve, blame, and silence all survivors of sexual violence and/or relationship abuse. Potential disruptive actions? Offer new, real narratives from survivors in your own community. Run campaigns that seek to broaden campus-wide understanding of who can be a victim.

Practice #15 – Colluding with Those Who Commit Violence

Protecting students and others who perpetrate violence because of their perceived value to the school is all too common on campus and in communities everywhere, and it normalises and increases the amount of violence committed. Potential disruptive actions? Create accountability culture: work with students to understand that it is not in the best interest of the community to protect those who commit violence, use student and local media to draw attention to cover ups, work with alumni, parents, and others to hold the administration accountable for transparency.

Practice #16 – “Standards”

Peer-led committees or boards enforce a code of conduct within student organisations, in a system that is meant to protect the reputation of an organisation. Potential disruptive actions? Change your standards: it’s a peer enforced system. Challenge shaming within your community. Check yourselves.

If you’re inspired to take action to disrupt any of these practices–or want to take a closer look at the norms that drive a culture of gender-based violence in your community–take advantage of Breakthrough’s Action Hotline today!

16 Anti-VAW Organisations, Campaigns, and Activists using Pop Culture to fight Violence Against Women

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From books, comic books, movies, pop music, and tv shows to graffiti, online memes, tattoos, cosplaying, and street fashion – pop culture is what and who most of us read, watch, listen, and wear. Traditionally, it has been dismissed by the establishment as ubiquitous lightweight entertainment for the person on the street. Nevertheless, from fears that Rock music would promote promiscuous behaviour amongst teens in the 1950s to allegations that video games contribute to violent behaviour in children to Harry Potter fans rallying to fundraise for good causes, pop culture also has a history of being regarded as extraordinarily effective at transmitting powerful ideas and messages to the masses.

The power of pop culture has been magnified manifold since the advent and evolution of radio, film, and the internet over the course of the 20th century. In today’s lightning-fast internet-connected world, its influence is more potent than ever as streaming services like Netflix and Spotify have gone global, social media channels like Tumblr create an proliferation of interactive worldwide fandoms, and celebrities now hold court on Facebook with live videos that go viral. From using pop culture mediums such as comics and YouTube videos to raise awareness about VAW to collaborating with celebrities to amplify messages, today’s anti-VAW organisations and campaigns are dialling into pop culture to reach out to communities with added impact.

Here at The Pixel Project, we realise what a huge role pop culture can play in influencing communities, educating young people, mobilising support, and raising the resources needed to address, prevent, and even stop violence against women (VAW). In recognition of the profound influence that pop culture has on the hearts and minds of individuals and communities worldwide, we present 16 anti-VAW organisations, campaigns, celebrities, and activists using pop culture to fight VAW in a variety of ways.

Written and compiled by Samantha Joseph with additional content by Regina Yau. Introduction by Regina Yau and Samantha Joseph.

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Empowering With Pop Culture #1: Aaron Haroon Rashid and “Burka Avenger” – Pakistan

Aaron Haroon Rashid created Burka Avenger, an animated Pakistani TV series, to emphasise the importance of educating girls. It features a protagonist who is a teacher in an all-girls’ school by day, and wears a burka when fighting misogynistic villains and carries strong themes of women’s empowerment.

Empowering With Pop Culture #2: Anita Sarkeesian and “Tropes vs Women” – Online

Feminist social critic Anita Sarkeesian documents the often sexist and misogynistic view of women in popular culture through her Tropes vs Women in Video Games series which also addresses violence against women and objectification of women in video games. Ironically, launching the series resulted in a deluge of sexist harassment for Anita. [TRIGGER WARNING: This video contains graphic depictions of violence against women.]

Empowering With Pop Culture #3: Breakthrough and the “Ring the Bell/Bell Bajao” campaign – India

Breakthrough and its founder, Malika Dutt, have used pop culture in a slew of campaigns to promote gender rights and bring awareness to violence against women. Bell Bajao, or Ring the Bell, is their most famous campaign is renowned for using a series of striking public service announcements on YouTube calling on bystanders to take action. The campaign later evolved to involve the likes of Patrick Stewart and Michael Bolton calling on men to take action to stop violence and discrimination against women.

Empowering With Pop Culture #4: Celeste Barber and #celestechallengeaccepted – Australia

Using popular social media platform Instagram, Australian comedian Celeste Barber fights the notion of self-objectification that women and girls are supposed to be constantly aware of their bodies and how they are rewarded for sexualisation through ‘likes’ by putting up her own pictures side-by-side those of celebrities like Niki Minaj and Kim Kardashian.

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Empowering With Pop Culture #5: Flavia Carvalho and the “A Pele da Flor” (The Skin of the Flower) Project – Brazil

When talented tattoo artist Flavia Carvalho had a client who wanted to cover up a scar on her abdomen that was inflicted through a violent attack because she refused the advances of a man in a nightclub, Carvalho started her A Pele de Flor project to help other women who have sustained scars from VAW. In addition to helping survivors boost their self-confidence via beautiful tattoos, she shares the before and after pictures of the scars with the stories of how the women received them to raise awareness about VAW.

flavia-carvalho

Empowering With Pop Culture #6: Gender-flipped Book Cover Posing – United States of America

Fantasy author Jim C Hines noticed a trend of ridiculously posed women on the cover of popular urban fantasy novels, and decided to draw attention to sexist cover art by parodying them in a series of photographs. Since then, he’s raised money for several charities through these efforts, and roped in several other authors, including John Scalzi, Charles Stross, and Mary Robinette Kowal.

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Empowering With Pop Culture #7: Mariska Hargitay and the “NO MORE” Campaign – United States of America

Mariska Hargitay’s Joyful Heart Foundation launched the NO MORE campaign in hopes of normalising conversation surrounding domestic violence and sexual assault, allowing victims to feel more empowered about coming forward with their stories. NO MORE is backed by familiar faces from television and music, including Courteney Cox, Samantha Ronson, and Mary J Blige.

Empowering With Pop Culture #8:   Meghan Rienks and the “That’s Not Cool” campaign – Online

Youtube star Meghan Rienks, Futures Without Violence and the Ad Council team up for the That’s Not Cool campaign, to help teens identify abusive behaviour in relationships. Accessible through platforms like Youtube and Kik, the campaign is aimed at promoting healthy relationships among teenagers.

Empowering With Pop Culture #9: Megan Rosalarian and Gender-flipping Objectifying Comic Book Art – United States of America

Megan Rosalarian, pseudonym of writer and artist Megan Rose Gedris, tackles the hypersexualised representation of female superheroes in comic books, for example Black Canary and Star Sapphire, by re-drawing them as male superheroes in revealing outfits and titillating poses.

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Empowering With Pop Culture #10: Ram Devineni and “Priya’s Shakti” – India

Ram Devineni is one of the creators of Priya’s Shakti, a comic book whose protagonist is a young rape survivor fighting gender crimes in India with the help of the goddess Parvati. Inspired by the horrific gender-based violence making the news in India, Priya’s Shakti exposes issues of gender-based violence that are often left untackled because of patriarchal attitudes.

Empowering With Pop Culture #11: Saint Hoax and the “Happy Never After” Campaign – Online

Middle Eastern artist Saint Hoax uses Disney Princess characters to illustrate domestic violence in the series of Happy Never After posters. The princesses, visibly bruised, are featured with the tagline ‘When Did He Stop Treating You Like A Princess?’, a move that Saint Hoax says underlines the fact that domestic violence can happen to anyone. [TRIGGER WARNING: This video contains graphic depictions of violence against women.]

Empowering With Pop Culture #12: The “Don’t Cover it Up” Campaign – United Kingdom

YouTube beauty expert Lauren Luke and anti-violence against women charity Refuge produce a video as part of the ‘Don’t Cover It Up’ campaign. In the video, Luke appears to be beaten and bruised, an intentionally shocking presentation to make people face the realities of abuse victims and hopefully urge them to seek help rather than ‘cover up’.

Empowering With Pop Culture #13: The “It’s On Us” Campaign – United States of America

A US national campaign, It’s On Us aims to help keep men and women safe from sexual assault, especially on campus. The campaign works with celebrities such as Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Minka Kelly and Josh Hutcherson to create videos that advocate for consent, safety and intervention in non-consensual situations.

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Empowering With Pop Culture #14: The Pixel Project and the “Read For Pixels” campaign – Online

The Pixel Project is an anti-VAW non-profit which specialises in online campaigns that combine social media, new technologies, and pop culture/the arts to raise awareness, funds, and volunteer power for the movement to end VAW. Over the years, their campaigns and programmes have reached out to diverse pop culture communities and influencers including music fans, foodies, and geekdoms. Their most popular campaign is their Read For Pixels campaign featuring award-winning bestselling authors talking about VAW to their fans via live Google Hangouts and raising funds online for the cause.

Empowering With Pop Culture #15: The #WhatIReallyReallyWant Campaign – Worldwide

Project Everyone, founded by director Richard Curtis and Global Goals, took the 1996 girl power anthem ‘Wannabe’ (with the blessing of The Spice Girls), and updated it for their #WhatIReallyReallyWant campaign featuring women and girls from around the world telling the United Nations and the world what they really want: to stop violence against girls, ending child marriage and equal pay for equal work.

Empowering With Pop Culture #16: YWCA Canada and the #NOTokay Campaign – Canada

YWCA Canada’s #NOTokay campaign uses TV series, video games and music videos and representations of assault in them to illustrate that it isn’t okay. Each 15 second video highlights the casual way violence against women is used in shows like Family Guy, and how we shouldn’t be okay with it. [TRIGGER WARNING: This video contains graphic depictions of violence against women.]

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Photo Credits:

(A) Collage

Top Row (L – R):

Bottom Row (L – R):

(B) Article

The Pixel Project Selection 2016: 16 Striking Anti-Violence Campaigns for the Cause to End Violence Against Women

Give Peace a ChanceEvery year, we at The Pixel Project come across a wide variety of innovative and powerful campaigns tackling Violence Against Women (VAW) by our fellow activists and non-profits from around the globe, and 2016 is no exception. From using tattoos to reclaiming public spaces through bike-riding, activists and campaigners all around the world have had an extraordinarily busy year.

We acknowledge that anti-VAW campaigners put themselves in perilous situations to advocate for the safety of others and we are immeasurably grateful for their bravery. From women marching the streets to women combating harassment online, each and every action, large or small, counts.

So today, in honour of all VAW activists, nonprofits and grassroots groups who toil in such thankless situations to bring about positive change to the lives of women and girls facing violence, we present 16 of the most striking campaigns/programmes we have come across in the last year of our work.

What these campaigns have in common are:

  • The built-in “water-cooler” factor that gets the community buzzing about the campaign and by extension, the issue of VAW.
  • A good sense of what works in and for the culture and community where the activist/nonprofit/grassroots group is trying to effect change.

We hope that these campaigns and initiatives inspire you to take action and get on board the cause to end VAW.

It’s time to stop violence against women. Together.

Written and compiled by Rubina Singh. Additional content by Regina Yau

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Striking Anti-VAW Campaign #1:  Brides do Good – Worldwide

Launched on International Day of the Girl Child this year by Chantal Khoueiry, Brides Do Good is a social enterprise and campaign with the aim of ending child marriage. In partnership with Plan International and Too Young to Wed, Brides Do Good provides a platform for women to sell their expensive bridal gowns and one-third of the profits are donated to charities working to end child marriage.

Brides Do Good from Brides Do Good on Vimeo.

Striking Anti-VAW Campaign #2: #Everywoman  – The Philippines

Using the hashtag #EveryWoman, women across the Philippines came together against slut-shaming and VAW in the country. An alleged sex tape of Senator Leila de Lima was made public leading to outrage against the video being used to shame her as a form of violence against women.

Striking Anti-VAW Campaign #3: Fancy Women on Bikes – Turkey

“Fancy Women On Bikes” is a national women’s movement in Turkey that is moving to reclaim public spaces for women through bike rides in groups. Founder Sema Gur used social media to mobilise her friends to cycle with her so as to raise awareness about the issues women experience in the streets and traffic. And so the Fancy Women on Bikes movement was born with clear and precise message: “We should go wherever we want, dress however we like, be visible, yet not be disturbed.”

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Striking Anti-VAW Campaign #4:  Girls at DhabasPakistan

Girls at Dhabas started in 2015 as an Instagram post by Sadia Khatri and developed into a movement to reclaim public spaces in Pakistan this year. Dhabas are small, open air restaurants found in South Asia where women are rarely seen alone. In their effort to increase women’s public participation, the movement encourages women to reclaim public spaces like dhabas.

Striking Anti-VAW Campaign #5: Give The Red Card – Pacific Islands

Launched on 10 November 2016, the Give The Red Card campaign is an effort by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and UNICEF to engage with the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup teams to galvanise sporting champions who will stand together and speak out against VAW. Under this campaign, participating countries and football teams will engage with a celebrity male football player in their home country to stand with the team and help to advocate against VAW in their communities.

Striking Anti-VAW Campaign #6: “I’ll Never Be Silent”  – Brazil

VAW is rampant across Latin America, with some of the worst cases taking place in Brazil. Triggered by the gang-rape of a 16 year old girl in April 2016, activist group Rio de Paz protested against VAW by showcasing photographs by photographer Marcio Freitas themed ‘I’ll Never Be Silent’ along with 420 pairs of underwear on Copacabana Beach. The number of underwear represents the number of women who are raped every 72 hours in Brazil.

Striking Anti-VAW Campaign #7: “Men wear Mini-skirts” March – The Netherlands

To protest against the violence against women in Cologne, Germany in January 2016, men gathered in Amsterdam wearing miniskirts. The protest was in response to comments blaming the assault on the women’s attire rather than addressing the behavior of the perpetrators.

Striking Anti-VAW Campaign #8:  #MoreThanMean – United States of America

#MoreThanMean is a video and podcast to raise awareness about the harassment faced by women in sports. The video shows men reading some of the ‘mean tweets’ targeted at female sports journalists including rape and death threats. The men cringe as they read out these tweets to the journalists sitting in front of them. The underlying theme of the video is to showcase how these tweets are more than just ‘mean tweets’ and are actually abuse.

Striking Anti-VAW Campaign #9: #NeinHeisstNein (No Means No)  – Germany

This year, a ‘No means No’ law was passed by Germany to address gaps in the law regarding violence against women in the country. Along with many protests and campaigns for years, the move was preceded by a campaign by UN Women Germany and activist Kristina Lunz using the hashtag #NeinHeisstNein (No means no).

Striking Anti-VAW Campaign #10:  #NotOkay  – Worldwide

Following disturbing comments made by Donald Trump, President-Elect of the USA, Canadian author Kelly Oxford decided it was #NotOkay. She started tweeting stories about her own experiences with sexual assault and invited her followers to share more using the hashtag #NotOkay. 27 million tweets later, the hashtag has translated into a symbol for the unacceptability of sexual assault within and outside USA.

Striking Anti-VAW Campaign #11:  Pinjra Tod (Break the Hostel Locks) – India

Women’s hostels and rental accommodations in India are known for stringent curfews and sexist rules like forbidding women from coming in late or staying out at night. Pinjra Tod, literally translates to ‘break the cage’, and that is precisely what this collective of women students, alumni and allies in New Delhi is trying to do. Their tactics range from open discussions to online petitions to graffiti. Along with trying to end sexism in educational institutions, they are also trying to ensure that anti-sexual harassment committees in colleges and universities are active.

Striking Anti-VAW Campaign #12: Silent Anti-Rape Protests Against President Zuma – South Africa

Four women came together for a silent protest against President Jacob Zuma during his address at the Independent Electoral Commission in Tshwane, South Africa. President Zuma was accused of raping his friend’s daughter, known in the media as Khwezi, in 2005. The charge was dismissed in 2006 amidst protests. The demonstration brought to light the sad state of the South African judicial system when it comes to addressing issues of violence against women.

Striking Anti-VAW Campaign #13:  Stop it at the Start – Australia

Developed by the Australian government, Stop it at the Start is an ad campaign to highlight the need to address violence against women and violent behavior from the beginning. The campaign shows disrespectful behavior between a boy and girl which eventually converts into violent behavior as they age.

Striking Anti-VAW Campaign #14: Temporary Tattoos  –  Germany

Sexual assault against young girls in Germany is on the rise. To raise awareness about the issue, Veronika Wascher-Goggerle, the Women’s and Family Representative from Bodensee district in Baden-Wurttemberg has started an awareness campaign with temporary tattoos. Temporary tattoos were distributed to young girls to talk to young girls at swimming pools about sexual assault.

Striking Anti-VAW Campaign #15: The Pink Ladoo Project – United Kingdom and South Asia

In South Asian communities, ladoos (a traditional sweet) are traditionally distributed on the birth of a male child. Taking into account the sexism and violence against women that starts at birth, Raj Khaira initiated the Pink Ladoo Project to encourage South Asian families to celebrate the birth of a girl child by distributing pink ladoos and to address the gender bias from the start.

Striking Anti-VAW Campaign #16: The Unacceptable Acceptance LetterUnited States of America

To address the issue of campus sexual assault in USA, a campaign was developed by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in collaboration with the production company PRETTYBIRD and the women’s rights advocacy group Ultraviolet. The campaign includes a print ad and six videos of high school students reading out their college acceptance letters, with a twist at the end highlighting the plight of campus sexual assault survivors.

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Photo credits:

  1. Photo from Thousands of ‘Fancy Women on Bikes’ defy intimidation to claim the streets of Turkey” (Didem Tali/Women Of The World/New York Times)
  2. Photo from “Activists Launch No More Rape Campaign” (Filipe Dana/The Daily Beast)

The Pixel Project VAW e-News Digest — ’16 for 16′ 2016 Edition

news-coffee9-150x150Welcome to our annual “16 for 16” Special Edition of The Pixel Project’s VAW e-News Digest. In this edition, we bring you the top 16 news headlines in each category related to violence against women over 2016.

2016 is remembered by many for its significant cultural and world events, and this is no exception for the news and developments about violence against women. While there have been distressing news such as violent acts going viral and politicians identified with rape culture, there has also been growing awareness, bolder acts of resistance and progress in legislation.

Here are the 16 biggest trending VAW headlines of 2016:

Every contribution matters. If you have any news you’d like to share about violence against women, please email The Pixel Project at info@thepixelproject.net. If you prefer to receive up-to-the-minute news concerning violence against women, follow us on Twitter .

It’s time to stop violence against women. Together.

With all good wishes,
The Pixel Project Team


General Violence Against Women


 Domestic Violence


Rape and Sexual Assault


 Human/Sex Trafficking


 Female Genital Mutilation


 Forced Marriage and Honour Killing


Activism

The Pixel Project Selection 2016: 16 Notable Facebook Pages by Anti-Violence Against Women Organisations

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Since being founded in 2004, Facebook has become a social media powerhouse, with over 1.64 billion monthly active users as of March 2016, 84.2% of which are outside of North America. Facebook has grown from a basic social connection website to a life platform. It is used to find, connect, and catch up with friends, to read the news, to conduct business, to shop, and to learn.

Facebook is also used to find causes, organisations, and events that are important to us and to advocate for various issues. Now Facebook users can learn about and support global issues from their own homes. Violence against women (VAW) is one of the global human rights issues finding supporters on Facebook. Now a story about VAW can be read, watched, or heard via Facebook by millions of people around the globe. They can follow organisational news, participate in grassroots campaigns, and donate right from their mobile phone or computer.

This is our fifth annual list of recommended Facebook pages and we have selected them because they make an effort to temper humour with information, offer a significant way for their readers to help, and make those in the fight feel more powerful and part of something greater. They present a unique perspective on a global issue. So choose a couple to ‘like’, or better yet ‘like’ them all, get informed, and take action.

Written and compiled by Rebecca DeLuca

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Recommended Facebook Page #1: All Women’s Action Society – Malaysia

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All Women’s Action Society Malaysia is part of a larger organisation that works towards securing women’s rights, building gender equality, supporting women in crisis, and empowering women. The AWAM Malaysia Facebook Page offers local and international news in a variety of media forms, including photos, graphics, text and podcasts.

 

Recommended Facebook Page #2: Chayn Pakistan – Pakistan

chayn-pakistanChayn Pakistan is an affiliate of Chayn.org, a global volunteer-led crowdsourced website that informs and supports women facing domestic violence. The organisation provides followers information on recognising abuse, understanding its impacts on one’s health, getting help and more. Through Chayn Pakistan, women can share their thoughts and feelings publicly or anonymously and receive well wishes from others.

 

Recommended Facebook Page #3: Daughters Rising – Thailand

daughtersrisingDaughter’s Rising’s mission is to empower at-risk girls through education to end trafficking and exploitation in their communities. As Daughter’s Rising focuses on sex trafficking and exploitation, their Facebook Page is a resource for similar activists, sharing unique, global news and personal stories. Fans are also introduced to the women and girls Daughter’s Rising empowers through their many programs.

 

Recommended Facebook Page #4: Dr. Denis Mukwege – Democratic Republic of Congo

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Dr. Denis Mukwege, founder and medical director of the Panzi Foundation, is an advocate for women in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Dr. Mukwege believes in a holistic model of caring for survivors of sexual violence, including mental, emotional, social and physical care. He maintains a bi-lingual Facebook page where he shares updates on his programmes, speaking engagements and work in both French and English.

 

Recommended Facebook Page #5: Our Watch – Australia

our-watchOur Watch Australia works to end violence against women and their children. Beyond research, education, and producing a library of training resources, Our Watch Australia maintains a variety of programs, including The Line, a behaviour change campaign for young people aged 12-20, Sport Engagement Program and educating hospitals on responses to family violence.

 

Recommended Facebook Page #6: Sisters in Islam –  Malaysia

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Sisters in Islam promotes the rights of women within the framework of Islam and the principles of equality, justice and freedom. The organisation offers a library of legal and informative resources on various topics, including polygamy, child marriage, violence against women, Muslim Family Law and more. Sisters in Islam leaders Marina Mahathir and Zainah Anwar also have active columns in The Star, a leading national English-language daily, ensuring important issues remain at in the news.

 

Recommended Facebook Page #7: Singapore Committee for UN Women -Singapore

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The Singapore Committee for UN Women works toward gender equality in Singapore by supporting programs that provide women and girls access to education, healthcare, independence and a safety. The organisation’s Facebook page is a hub for the program updates and events that supporters can attend. Fans of the Singapore Committee for UN Women can share ideas and information in a safe and monitored environment.

 

Recommended Facebook Page #8: Sister-Hood – Worldwide

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Founded by Fuse CEO Deeyah Khan, sister-hood is a digital magazine featuring the voices of women of Muslim heritage. The goal of sister-hood is to promote and unite the feminists from Muslim heritage, and connect a global community of women. The sister-hood contributors produce various pieces of digital content, including news, opinion pieces, interviews, reviews, video, poetry and photography.

 

Recommended Facebook Page #9: St. Mary’s Centre – United States

st-marys-centerSt. Mary’s Center for Women and Children provides programs for women and children who have experienced trauma and are living in poverty. These programs include education, shelter, technical skills development and more. Fans of the St. Mary’s Center Facebook Page will not only receive updates on programmes, but will also learn about the many events they can attend, such as Diamonds of Dorchester or Dancing for Hope.

 

Recommended Facebook Page #10: The Fawcett Society – United Kingdom

the-fawcett-societyThe Fawcett Society is a leading charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights in the UK. Fans of the Fawcett Society’s Facebook page will find local events they can attend and support, news, and updates on the organisation’s campaigns, including Equal Pay Day, Views not Shoes and Don’t Blame it on the Girls.

 

Recommended Facebook Page #11: The Garden of Hope Foundation – Asia

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The Garden of Hope (GOH) runs women’s shelters, call centres, counselling programs and advocacy campaigns to relieve and rehabilitate abuse victims and promote gender equality. The GOH has recently expanded their programing to include services that will empower women and girls to become economically independent. Fans of the GOH Facebook Page will be introduced to various GOH programs and advocacy campaigns, and can follow the GOH’s speaking engagements and event participation.

 

Recommended Facebook Page #12: Unchained At Last – United States

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Unchained At Last helps women and girls leave and avoid arranged or forced marriages by providing free legal and social services, as well as emotional support. The organisation also provides education for domestic violence (DV) agencies, law enforcement, lawyers, and members of the judicial system. During Unchained At Last’s first five years, the organisation has helped more than 200 women and girls.

 

Recommended Facebook Page #13: WEvolve Global – Worldwide

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WEvolve Global empowers young men and women to challenge and break through social norms that lead to gender-based violence. The WEvolve Facebook Page shares a mixture of bite-sized facts and figures for advocates, videos and news stories about the issue of gender-based violence. Fans will also receive information on Blue Runway, WEvolve’s cornerstone programme, a place where actors, athletes, musicians and key cultural figures unite to celebrate the promise of change.

 

Recommended Facebook Page #14: Women LEAD – Nepal

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Women Lead provides support, skills and opportunities for young women in Nepal to become leaders in their communities, in the nation and around the world. Fans of the Women LEAD Facebook page are introduced to the young women and girls impacted by the organisation. They see their photos, learn about their history and learn how Women LEAD has impacted their lives.

 

Recommended Facebook Page #15: Women Peacemakers Programme – The Netherlands

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Women Peacemakers Program supports and empowers women peace activists, believing that peace can only be achieved when women are equal partners in the decision-making process. Based in the Netherlands, the Women Peacemakers Program’s Facebook Page shares news and updates the organisation, but from international women’s rights groups as well, making it a global resource.

 

Recommended Facebook Page #16: Women’s Legal Centre – South Africa

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Women’s Legal Centre (WLC) is an independent law centre established to advance women’s rights in South Africa. The WLC’s Facebook page shares legal news and updates on issues such as violence against women, women’s health, relationship rights, labour laws, property and housing, and sex worker rights. For more detailed information, fans may visit the WLC webpage and find a library of resources on the issues.

16 Games to Help Stop Violence Against Women

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Video games have long been demonised as promoting and contributing to sexism, misogyny, and violence against women (VAW). Popular games like Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption have VAW (including rape and sexual assault) built into their gameplay and game worlds, leading critics to observe that they are rewarding players for acting out their fantasies of VAW which may translate into real-world behaviour.  Indeed, the violently misogynist Gamergate movement which attacked women in the gaming community and industry, including Anita Sarkeesian, Zoe Quinn, and Brianna Wu, reinforces this perception of gaming and gamers.

What critics may have overlooked is that games can also be used to help prevent VAW and promote gender equality. Some experts have even put forth the case that violent video games may, in fact, help to reduce violence in general. In recent years, a growing number of game designers, women’s organisations, and anti-violence nonprofits have started using the potential impact of ICT and gaming, with many new games being developed to increase awareness about the impact of VAW, bystander intervention, consent in relationships among young people in particular. The games that these people create range from PC games and Facebook games to mobile applications and even board games. These games seek to educate players about VAW and simulate the experience of VAW for players or sometimes just start the conversation around VAW.

In this article, we present a list of 16 games that are designed to help stop VAW. This is just a starting point which we hope will encourage and inspire more people to start seeing games as tools and gaming communities as potential allies with enormous potential for creating positive consequences in the battle against VAW.

Written and compiled by Rubina Singh; Additional content and research by Regina Yau.

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Game Against VAW #1: A Casual ChatSphere 9 – USA

A Casual Chat was the winner of the 2016 Life.Love.Game Design Challenge produced by Jennifer Ann’s Group and aims to increase awareness about teen dating violence. The game invites players to interact with Katie, a high school senior and follow her story about her relationship with her boyfriend.

 

Game Against VAW #2: After Party – Sonder Games, Abertay University – United Kingdom

Students from Abertay University have developed After Party – a game on the importance of consent in relationships. After Party recently won the People’s Choice Award at the Games4Health competition at Utah University, USA.

 

Game Against VAW #3: Angry Brides – Shaadi.com – India

Angry Brides is a Facebook Game developed by a matrimonial website Shaadi.com. The game is an interactive way to raise awareness about dowry and the impact it has on women in India.

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Game Against VAW #4: Another Chance – Jean Hehn, Another Kind – Belgium

Another Chance was the winner of the 2015 Life.Love.Game Design challenge produced by Jennifer Ann’s Group, a non-profit working to prevent teen dating violence. The game explores the theme of violence in relationships.

 

Game Against VAW #5: Breakaway – Champlain College Emergent Media Centre – USA

Breakaway is an interactive online video game that uses soccer as a tool to educate players about VAW and gender equality. The game was designed by the Champlain College Emergent Media Centre in Vermont, USA for the United Nations Population Fund as part of the UNiTE Campaign to End Violence against Women.


BREAKAWAY Video from Champlain College Emergent Media on Vimeo.

 

Game Against VAW #6: Bystander – Game Changer Chicago, University of Chicago – USA

As part of the Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health at the University of Chicago, Game Changer Design Lab developed Bystander, an interactive video game to encourage young people to become active bystanders and prevent incidents of VAW.

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Game Against VAW #7: Cool-Not Cool Quiz – Futures without Violence – USA

As part of the ‘That’s Not Cool’ initiative of Futures Without Violence, the Cool-Not Cool quiz addresses the issue of teen dating violence. The game is available on mobile and online and uses an interactive quiz format to help users understand the signs of teen dating violence and dating abuse.

 

Game Against VAW #8: Decisions that Matter – Carnegie Mellon University – USA

Decisions that Matter is an interactive online game developed by students at Carnegie Mellon University as an attempt to prevent situations of sexual assault on college campuses. The game invites the player to respond to varied scenarios of sexual harassment and violence in order to be an effective bystander.

 

Game Against VAW #9: Elite Sharp CCT – Institute of Creative Technologies, University of Southern California – USA

The Emergent Leader Immersive Training Environment Sexual Harassment/Assault Response & Prevention Command Team Trainer (ELITE SHARP CTT) is a training game made for the American military to address issues of sexual harassment. The games showcases scenarios that train command teams to respond to incidents of sexual harassment.

elite-sharp-cct-screenshot

 

Game Against VAW #10: Ending the Cycle – Peter Wonica and the Galerstein Women’s Center at the University of Texas at Dallas – USA

Developed initially with the Galerstein Women’s Center at the University of Texas at Dallas, Ending the Cycle is a board game designed to simulate experiences of a person in an abusive relationship. Players walk through the different phases that a survivor of domestic violence may go through while leaving an abusive relationship.

 

Game Against VAW #11: Green Acres High School – CAVA (Changing Attitudes to dating Violence in Adolescents) Project – Sweden

Green Acres High School aims to raise awareness about violence in adolescent relationships through modeled scenarios of different stages in relationships. Targeted at 12-16 year old players, the game is accompanied with resource material for teachers as well.

Game Against VAW #12: Half the Sky Movement: The Game – Frima Studio – Worldwide

The founders of the Half the Sky Movement launched a Facebook game to raise awareness and funds for empowering women and girls across the world. Players see multiple situations faced every day by women in different countries and learn about the issues faced by them.

 

Game Against VAW #13: Hannah – Lotus Media Studios – Australia

Hannah is a text-based video game that aims to raise awareness about domestic violence. The gamer is asked to use different tools to assist Hannah, who is a victim of domestic violence and help her to become a survivor. The game will be officially released at the end of this year.

hannah-lotus-media

 

Game Against VAW #14: In Tune – Tweed Couch Games – Canada

In Tune is an interactive game where players learn about consent in physical relationships. Players make teams of two and re-create scenes of physical touch that they view on screen. They wear ‘consent bracelets’ which registers their level of comfort during the interaction through skin contact.

 

Game Against VAW #15: Mission Hazaar – Blue Ant Digital Intelligence for Breakthrough – India

As a part of their campaign to address the declining child sex ratio in India, Breakthrough developed an HTML5 game to increase awareness about the issue and engage more people in the conversation. The point-and-click game takes users across five States in India with the worst sex ratio to find hidden girls and women.

mission-hazaar-screenshot

Game Against VAW #16: PS Be Brave – Damian Hadyi (99UNO Designer) and Dario Gimenez – Argentina

With the aim of increasing awareness about relationship abuse and teen dating violence, PS Be Brave invites users to share advice and experiences around violence in relationship. The game also has useful resources to address abuse in relationships.