Category Archives: Winner’s reflections

Vicky Allan wins award for ‘Best article – Comment and Feature’

Over the next week we will be publishing information about all of our Write to End Violence Against Women award winners. You can find the full list here or read Annie McLaughlin’s article for the Sunday Herald here.

Vicky Allan ‘s winning feature for the Sunday Herald highlighted cases of rape and violence against women in India which have made headlines around the world, but warned of a failure by some to link these to wider issues of gender inequality. You can read the full piece here.

She wrote: “These tales of horror and violence…are the tip of an iceberg, a distraction from the bigger story about gender in India, which isn’t one of stranger rape. Rather, as I found when last month I travelled with the Edinburgh-based charity EMMS International to New Delhi, and Bihar, the country’s poorest state, it is of what happens in home and family. It is what happens when a whole gender is devalued. It is a story that begins in the womb.”

The judges praised Vicky’s “well-researched and engaging journalism which lays out the daily reality of women & girls in India”  commenting that “this impressive piece shines a light not only on the killing of baby girls, but also the myriad of barriers facing girls and women in India throughout their lives.”

Speaking after receiving her award Allan said: “It’s been a great night particularly because there are loads of women here whose writing I’ve read and I’ve been really interested to meet, because they’re all writing about things that I’m passionate about myself.

One thing that isn’t really clear unless you really think about it is the role gender inequality has [in violence against women]. That’s what I was hoping to get across in the piece, that although I was writing about what was happening in India, it was the same issues, the same structures, the same things that were having an impact on women there as here, even though it might seem more extreme.”

winners

Photo credit to Vaida V Nairn

 

The Ferret Journalists win ‘Gender Equality Award: Women And Migration’

Over the next week we will be publishing information about all of our Write to End Violence Against Women award winners. You can find the full list here or read Annie McLaughlin’s article for the Sunday Herald here.

Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi, Lyra McKee, and Karin Goodwin investigated the experience of female asylum seekers forced to remain with abusive partners because of their immigration status. Read their full piece on The Ferret here

They wrote: “Asylum seeking women have been told by legal advisors that they should consider staying with abusive partners rather than risk losing their right to remain the UK, according to evidence uncovered.

Lawyers, psychologists and campaigners claim that Home Office guidelines, stating that women have to prove they have been abused, mean that women are often forced to stay in dangerous situations because they are scared of being sent home.

Refuges are not an option, because asylum seekers – along with those who have legal right to remain but no recourse to public funds, such as women joining refugee husbands through family reunion – are unable to access refuge accommodation because of their immigration status.”

Nina Murray, Women’s Policy Development Officer for Scottish Refugee Council said of the winning piece, “It’s such a compelling exposé of the many ways that women survivors with insecure immigration status fall through safety gaps in the UK response to violence against women.

The piece covers complex ground, exploring the impact of different immigration rules and the many barriers that women face accessing justice and support across the UK. It does so with clarity and accuracy, drawing on a wide range of experts for context.

The powerful case studies from Scotland, England and Northern Ireland go to the heart of women’s experiences with dignity and authenticity, challenging stereotypes and giving women who are so often silenced, the opportunity to have their voices heard. We particularly liked the powerful call to action contained in the piece and the use of illustrations. The beautifully drawn images not only protect survivors’ identities but bring to life the appalling situation that these women find themselves in, in the UK. It’s an outstanding piece of investigative journalism.”

Fiona Davidson, Director at The Ferret, said: “It feels absolutely wonderful for the Ferret to win this award, I’m immensely proud.

What the Ferret does is extremely important; it’s all about public interest journalism and speaking up for the powerless and holding those in power to account.  Hopefully what [we] published on the plight of women and migration will help improve their situation in the future.”

ferret-journos

Claire Heuchan wins award for ‘Best Blog’

Over the next week we will be publishing information about all of our Write to End Violence Against Women award winners. You can find the full list here or read Annie McLaughlin’s article for the Sunday Herald here.

Claire Heuchan won the award for Best Blog for her piece ‘Self-Care or Speaking Out? A Black Feminist Dilemma’ – read it on her blog, Sister Outrider.

Discussing the racist and misogynist abuse she has received for her work, Claire Heuchan wrote in her blog:

“The abuse I receive online has reached new heights. For the first time (and probably not the last) I feel physically unsafe because of it. Along with the persistent misogyny, the overt racism, the steady drip drip drip of “shut up nigger”, there is something new: the threat of violence.

A white man told me that he wanted to hit me with his car. He wanted to hit me with his car and reverse over my body to make sure that I was dead. The scenario was so specific, the regard for my humanity so little, that it felt more real somehow than any of the other abuse I have received. It shocked me in a way that nothing on Twitter ever had before. I could hear my bones crack.”

Claire’s piece was described by the panel as “an emotive, original and necessary piece of writing”.  The judges said that “the author’s flair for language sparkles from the page; resulting in an impactful blog which still resonates with you long after you’ve finished reading.”

Claire said after her win: “It’s incredibly moving to have won this award. I started my blog about a year and a half ago and I did that because nobody was really asking any of the questions I had about race and feminism and how the two sets of politics fit together and I was waiting and waiting for someone else to say these things. One day it dawned on me that no one was and I thought I should start.”

claire

Lucy Miller wins award for ‘Best article – Student and Young Person’

Over the next week we will be publishing information about all of our Write to End Violence Against Women award winners. You can find the full list here or read Annie McLaughlin’s article for the Sunday Herald here.

Lucy Miller wrote about last year’s Reclaim the night in Glasgow in her award winning article for the ‘Student and Young Person’ category. Read her full piece on the Glasgow Guardian here.

In her coverage of last year’s Reclaim the Night march at the University of Glasgow, Lucy wrote:

“What was humbling to see were little girls marching alongside their mothers in order to raise awareness for this extremely worthwhile cause. But these little girls should not need to grow up in a society that sees approximately three cases of rape being reported daily in Scotland, and that’s only those which are reported. Too many women, young girls and men feel shame and humiliation in going forward to the police with their story. According to ThinkScotland, only ten percent of rape victims will report the assault to the authorities, and of those reported, only one in thirty rapists will be prosecuted.”

The judges described Lucy’s article as “uplifting” and said that it “shows women taking control of a difficult issue.”

Lucy said after accepting the award: “I think that writing is important in all aspects of impacting culture, as well as violence against women it can be used to eradicate [other inequalities] such as racism and homophobia. Writing can reach everyone; reading is something that all people can engage in.”

winners

Libby Brooks wins award for ‘Best article – news’

Over the next week we will be publishing information about all of our Write to End Violence Against Women award winners. You can find the full list here or read Annie McLaughlin’s article for the Sunday Herald here.

Libby Brooks reported on Nottinghamshire police force’s pioneering policy to recognise misogyny as a hate crime and a call by Maria Miller, women and equalities committee chair, for the approach to be adopted nationwide.

In her winning article, Libby wrote of responses some women have received when reporting street harassment. Read the full article ‘Sexist hate crimes given second-class status, says senior Tory MP’ on the Guardian.

 “One Londoner described how a 999 call handler insisted that she return to the road where a man had followed her, threatening to rape and murder her, to confirm the spelling of the street name.

Another respondent from the east Midlands, after reporting that a man had followed her from a train station when she was eight and a half months pregnant, then grabbed and squeezed her bottom “so aggressively that I could feel his fingers dig in between my buttocks”, was asked by an officer: “Are you sure he didn’t do it by accident?” A student who managed to run away from a man who had grabbed her and told her “I’m going to rape you” was advised by police to get a taxi in future when returning home late at night.”

The awards panel commended the “good use of statistics and first hand experiences…to sell a compelling case for why we need misogynistic acts recognised as hate crime.”

Libby Brooks said of her win: “I think that the media is gradually becoming more aware of its responsibilities in terms of reporting of violence against women, but some outlets in particular have a long way to go. It’s easy to feel fairly powerless in the face of huge media organisations but groups like Zero Tolerance and Women 50:50 have been great at galvanising women to call out bad practice where they find it.”

winners

Photo credit: Vaida V. Nairn

« Older Entries