City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Winners Announced for the Write to End Violence Against Women Awards 2016

By Irene Brown - Posted on 07 December 2016

Write to End Violence Against Women Awards Winners photo credit Vaida Nairn.jpg

At a gathering in the Scottish Parliament’s Garden Lobby, the fourth award ceremony for the winners of the annual Write to End Violence Against Women Awards was held on Tuesday 6th December 2016. With opening speeches from MSPs Angela Constance and Christina McKelvie, the event was admirably hosted by Talat Yaqoob, chair of Women 50 50.

Open to all those writing in Scotland, and with categories open to both paid and unpaid writing, the awards seek to drive up standards in journalism by rewarding those committed to furthering the cause of gender equality through their work. The winners of the five categories were selected by a panel of judges from a shortlist chosen by a shortlisting panel from women’s organisations.

The six- strong judging panel consisted of Rachel Adamson, Co-director of Zero Tolerance; Angela Alexander, NUS Women’s Officer for 2016/17; Neil MacKay, Editor of the Sunday Herald; Kirsty Strickland, 2015 Write to End Violence Against Women bursary winner; Sandy Brindley, National Coordinator for Rape Crisis Scotland and Nina Murray, Women's Policy Development Officer, Scottish Refugee Crisis and had the tough job of choosing from a high quality shortlist.

From the five categories: Best Print Journalism Article – news; Best Print Journalism Article – comment & features; Best Student Article; Best Blog; Worst Article; the Gender Equality Award 2016: Women and Migration the winners were as follows:

Best article – News Libby Brooks, The Guardian

For Best article – Comment & Feature Vicky Allan, The Herald

For Best Blog Claire Heuchan, Sister Outrider

Best article – Student and Young Person Lucy Miller, Glasgow Guardian

Gender Equality Awards 2016: Women and Migration Ferret journalists: Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi, Lyra McKee, Karin Goodwin

This year, rather than award the traditional Wooden Spoon award for the “worst article”, the organisers decided to award this year’s Wooden Spoon to a theme recognising the shortcomings of representation as a whole, rather than singling out one individual journalist.

This year, the Wooden Spoon was awarded to the theme of ‘invisible women’ i.e. the media’s tendency to neglect to mention the woman in cases of a family killing and instead focus the majority of coverage on the perpetrator. This theme was motivated by two instances of women, Claire Hart in Spalding, England and Clodagh Hawe in County Cavan, Ireland, being killed by their partner who in each case also killed the children and then themselves.

Last year’s bursary winner, Kirsty Strickland gave a particularly powerful and impassioned speech on the subject citing the importance of challenging, confronting and calling out of misogyny.

Liz Ely, Co-director of Zero Tolerance, and founder of the Write to End Violence Against Women Awards said of the awards, “The influence of the media has never been more glaringly obvious than in 2016 and we know that good reporting plays a vital role in increasing understanding of violence against women. This year we received more submissions than ever and we are delighted to celebrate those shortlisted writers tonight.

Scotland is becoming more critical of its media and these awards show that responsible, high quality reporting on gender based violence is not only possible but should be the norm.”