Thursday, November 29, 2007

Day 5-Women Bloggers Make and Broadcast the Message Against VAW

The digital divide and VAW has often meant that women did not have access to the internet, video, and related media much less the tools to make and upload these media. When they did have access, they were often confronted with less than positive images. Now more women and male allies are making their own videos and media clips and posting on popular sites.

For example, in the Justice for Rahela campaign & other cross- posts this fall, a Youtube video on Rahela made available many video and visual images of Rahela as she struggled to live and name her assailants in the month before she died in September 2004. Many of us had never seen her before except in maybe a newspaper clip.

Thanks to a blogging grant from Global Voices-Rising Voices, computer and english students & staff at Nari Jibon Project (and four other locations) have had the opportunity to and learn how to write blog posts and also to use digital and video cameras. To date, they have posted video on the Bangladesh floods, & a homeless woman who gave birth in a garage and pictures of street girls, beggars, slum women rebuilding after Cyclone Sidr, including a mother nursing her child born during Cyclone Sidr, among other images. This past week, Computer Teacher Taslima (brown burkha) gave a digital camera and video training workshop for blogging students and staff (see stories and photos).

As their skills grow, I hope to see more blogs and video blogs on their perspectives as young women growing up and finding their way through the streets, schools, and lives amidst eve-teasing and VAW prevalent in Bangladesh (and elsewhere, too). Meanwhile I will scramble to keep up with their advances in technology and blogging.

Finally, I will leave you with a very haunting video with some [warning graphic-disturbing] photos of violence from the 1971 liberation war and the song, Bangladesh, as sung by Joan Baez. These words-song always move me (to tears) and to step up my efforts to end suffering where ever it may occur. Please see also the Drishtipat on Women of 1971, their campaign for restitution from Pakistan, and their varied experiences and stories as freedom fighters, grandmothers, mothers, daughters, students and children, including the thousands of Bangladeshi women raped by Pakistani soldiers and collaborators).

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