Call for Papers: African Women in Media 2023 (AWiM2023) Conference Rwanda

Theme: Media and Gender Violence

Venue: Rwanda

Submission Deadline: 31 May, 2023

African Women in Media is calling for abstract submissions from media practitioners, academics, civil society, and policy actors, exploring the theme ‘Media and Gender Violence’ from various perspectives.

Gender-based violence has reached pandemic proportions worldwide, and the media is both a powerful tool in the fight against it and a potential enabler. At AWiM2023, ‘Media and Gender Violence is explored both from the perspective of media coverage and portrayal of various forms of gender violence, as well as the various forms of violence experienced by women working in media industries. For the former, this may include domestic violence, online violence, conflict regarded GBV, and other forms of violence against women and girls. Similarly, the latter may include sexual harassment, online violence, challenges of limited press freedom, intimidation, and other forms of violence.

Significantly, the theme contributes to several objectives of the African Union, namely:

  1. The AU Agenda 2063’s vision for “human security and a sharp reduction in violent crime”. Specifically, Aspiration Six and its goal for “full gender equality in all spheres of life, by strengthening the role of Africa’s women through ensuring gender equality and parity in all spheres of life (political, economic and social), and eliminating all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls”; and,
  2. Pillar 2 (Dignity, security, and resilience) of the African Union Strategy for Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment 2018-2028 highlights that “human security and bodily integrity for women is critical for the attainment of gender equality”.

Scope and Sub-Themes of the conference:

Representation of Gender-Based Violence: This refers to how media portray gender-based violence and is not only limited to physical violence but also includes psychological, sexual, conflict, economic and other forms of violence. When biased and inaccurate, media’s representation of gender can perpetuate harmful gender norms and stereotypes, which contribute to the normalisation of gender-based violence. Recent statistics show that gender-based violence remains a prevalent global issue, with women and girls disproportionately affected.

Violence and Women in Media: Women working in media industries have long been subjected to gender-based discrimination and violence. Various reports have highlighted the range of violence experienced by women in media, from verbal and physical violence to sexual harassment, online attacks, intimidation and more. In exploring this sub-theme, AWiM2023 aims to identify best practices and gaps in existing knowledge on the range of violence experienced by women in media, as well as potential regulatory and policy interventions at international, regional and national levels.

In view of the above sub-themes, the conference invites abstracts in the following, but not limited to, areas: 

  1. Media and gender-based violence
  2. Sexual harassment
  3. Online and cyberbullying/attacks
  4. Gender-based violence and mental health
  5. Safety of journalists
  6. Press freedom and freedom of expression
  7. Cyberfeminism
  8. Sustainable Journalism
  9. Media Ethics
  10. Women’s Studies
  11. Representation
  12. Media Studies
  13. Postcolonial studies
  14. Audiences
  15. Media and trauma
  16. Gender Studies
  17. Gender Policy
  18. Journalism Practice
  19. Media and toxic masculinity
  20. Intersectionality: race, gender, media, violence
  21. Social media and online violence
  22. Culture and gender-based violence
  23. Power relations
  24. Media literacy

Conference format

Hybrid: To facilitate global attendance, AWiM23 will be a hybrid conference. However, all speakers and facilitators are expected to participate in person

Submission guidelines

Please send a 250-word abstract with your name, e-mail address, a brief bio, and affiliation using this online form by 12 PM (West African Time) on 31 May 2023. Innovative formats, panel proposals, fireside chat, IgniteTalks, fishbowl sessions, workshops, and exhibitions are also welcome. Fireside chats, IgniteTalks, fishbowl sessions, and workshop proposals should include a short rationale and brief bios of participants.

Key Dates

CFP submission deadline – 31 May 2023

Confirmation of accepted papers – 7 June 2023

Registration opens – 1 July 2023

Conference dates – 30 November – 1 December 2023

Author: Ruth Kasham

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