“AS YOU WANT ME. THE INSIDIOUS POWER OF THE REPRESENTATION OF GIRLS AND WOMEN”
Recently Albania has improved women status, investing in the promotion of gender equality. The Country, however, keeps facing several challenges. For example, it is highlighted a significant distance between women conditions in urban areas, and those ones in rural areas.
Whereas on one hand it is observed an increasing participation of women in public bodies and in decision-making, on the other hand there are still discriminations on labour market and alarming statistics about the phenomenon of violence against women.
Despite several progresses in women empowerment, GUS Albania believes that more attention and committment are necessary to tackle the strumentalization of female images in media, phenomenon highly related to the logic of consumerism. It is really common to see a stereotyped usage of women images in advertisements, which encourages discriminatory and sexists attitudes at social level.
The practical-informative Workshop “As you want me. The insidious power of the representation of girls and women”, held on Saturday 10th March at the headquarters of GUS Albania in Tirana, has faced this delicate and too often minimized issue, through a preventive perspective. A particular approach has been brought by the focus on consequences at individual and social level.
Participants from different socio-cultural backgrounds, many of them activists from civil society, have taken part in the main activities of the Workshop. The methodologies used have been: role-playing, interactive academic speech and a practical laboratory of analysis of images.
Non-formal education, a tool highly used by GUS Albania, has facilitated the mutual knowledge of participants, building the basis for a good network and for future collaborations among the involved stakeholders. Through the role-playing in small groups, instead, has been created a simulation where participants have been invited to perform roles based on real situations, connected to the phenomenon of women sexual objectification.
Thereafter, through interactive and multimedial presentation, have been shared theoretical knowledges from a psycho-social perspective about women sexualization, with a focus on the ways it is vehiculated by Albanian and international media. The participants showed high interest and have been highly active, sharing their point of view of volunteers, students, activists about women empowerment.
The Workshop carried on with analyzing the images brought by the participants, which depicted, from a personal opinion, the positive and negative aspect of women representation in media. The following discussion has been very participatory, and offered interesting reflexive hints. This activity resulted highly relevant, especially for the purpose of encouraging critical thinking and increasing awareness about the issue.
The activities ended with work in small groups, where youth created campaignes of awareness about the topic, presenting thereafter the final products (poster, video, power point presentation) to all the group. The proposals showed a collective voice of a community sensitive to the social issue, and willing to be active by involving media, civil society, state bodies and international organizations.
“As You Want Me” Workshop ended up to be very appreciated and represents an important step to foster women empowerment, which is an intervention issue of high importantace for the mission of GUS Albania. It represents also an evidence of the need of in-depth analysis on one of the slighter phenomenon of discrimination, the sexualization of women in media. Last but not least, it is an important stage of our battle in favor of women emancipation, and it recognizes the added value of youth contribution to reach higher awareness of the community.
GUS Albania strongly believes in the power of activism and in the chance of changement created by the strenght of volunteering. As a matter of fact, our association relies on the valuable contribution of the volunteers of Italian National Civil Service, committed within the project You.Albania. Thanks to their action, it has been possible to implement this Workshop, giving the opportunity to the association to show its mission: promoting gender equality and tackling any form of violence against women.