NEoN Digital Arts Archive

Eight drawings with gender equality and anti-violence slogans


Original article has been previously published on our website

The Dundee International Women’s centre has been operating for over fifty years, with its key aims of educating and empowering women within the local area. We operate many different classes; we offer different social classes, such as baking and sewing, but also teach English at various levels. Our learners are from all around the world and from different cultures; we have a term timetable of different classes on our website and social media.

The Centre's Respected, Equal and Safe project looks at opening discussions surrounding gender inequality and violence against women. We discuss different topics in class, exploring these issues with activities and opportunities to talk about them further. As part of this project, we hold opportunities to raise awareness and provide training on different topics. We have recently delivered an awareness session on female genital mutilation; as part of our programme for 16 Days of Activism, we will be covering harmful practices.

Getting involved in sixteen days of activism this year means that people are being heard and sending a clear message; that gender-based violence is not something that is inevitable; it is something that we must challenge and eradicate. Education is a vital part of this process; for example, talking about unacceptable behaviour which might not be discussed openly, such as experiencing financial abuse. Having an opportunity to discuss in-class means that these definitions are made clear, especially in the context of talking with individuals who are in the process of learning English and may be new to Scotland.

For sixteen days of activism this year, the key focus for our organisation is to get as many of our learners involved in activities as possible. We will be participating as an organisation at the Reclaim the Night march on the 28th of November. We’ve had different opportunities for learners to create art, such as cardboard signs or sewing crafts, to participate.

This will lead to an exciting digital takeover which will occur on the 7th of December. Across different organisations within the Dundee area, the art and writing our learners have produced around gender inequality will be published. This means that learners' voices will be amplified across different platforms, empowering individuals participating as a result. We also are participating in multiple other events over the duration of sixteen days, all of which can be found in Dundee’s sixteen days of activism programme.

Learners' artwork will highlight what they want to change and what they want for their futures. It will be a time of lots of discussions, with questions about the future and an optimistic approach. What changes can we make to empower women? What is the future that we want for our daughters? How can we stop gender inequality, and what is it that we need to be doing to get there? So many questions can be asked to the learners at the centre as part of sixteen days of activism, and by doing so, we will be joining a global campaign where so many individuals will be asking these same questions. And we will all be working towards the answers.

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