In this article, Emma Gieben-Gamal and Dr Deborah Jackson, Co-Directors of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at ECA, highlight some of the writing in the 16 Days blog and reflect on the campaign and its pertinence to Edinburgh College of Art.
Gender-based violence, including domestic violence, is rooted in gender inequality, the abuse of power and harmful norms and cultural practices. As co-directors of Edinburgh College of Art’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) we value the critical work being undertaken by this global campaign to end violence against women. EDI at Edinburgh College of Art means promoting an inclusive, fair, respectful and welcoming culture in which all staff and students can flourish.
The promotion of gender equality is critical to our achievement of the Athena SWAN Bronze Award and continuing work to maintain and improve this standard of work-place equality. Gender equality also underpins gender-based violence prevention and ECA staff, undergraduate and postgraduate students have responded to this opportunity to raise awareness of those who have experienced gender-related violence and harassment with their vital contributions.
These include discussions by Megan Archibald and Zelda Solomon that both deal with the digital realm as it relates to forms of brutality to women and girls. Megan explores her own experiences of how decisions about women’s bodies are regulated in society and how this is played out in the public sphere of the internet, that demonstrate attitudes towards women that legitimized violence towards them and also places responsibility and blame on the victim. Zelda - a History of Art student and member of ECA's Board for decolonising the curriculum - presents an intersectional understanding of violence against women in the digital age. She denounces the common perception that technology is objective by demonstrating how algorithms replicate historical and societal biases that propagate injustices, prejudice and violence towards women and specifically women of colour.