Feminist Media Conference Goes Global: A WAM! Update

Posted by Preeti Mangala Shekar

Liveblogging, twitter feeds, video taped plenaries and more! The last weekend of March brought together over 500 women journalists, activists, media-makers and academics at the 6th annual Women, Action and Media (WAM!) conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts. WAM! is organized by the Center for New Words and the Women’s Studies department at MIT. With a first-time executive grant from the Global Fund for Women, WAM 2009 expanded its usually US-based participation and representation to women activists and journalists from six countries to travel and participate in the conference.

Plenary: Women Reporting from the Global Frontlines Plenary speakers at this year’s forum themed as Inside/Outside drew insights from an impressive array of women journalists. Huda Ahmed from Pakistan, Jenny Manrique Cortes from Colombia and Peta Thornycroft from Zimbabwe brought a vital global lens to the feminist media conversations, while also inspiring younger women to look to news reporting and bringing a critical international analyses to their work. This year’s WAM truly extended its amazing commitment to grow global – the 2008 conference had noted Iraqi journalist Haifa Zengana as its keynote speaker where she highlighted the enormous toll of the war on Iraqi women.

WAM! is a vital space for women journalists, editors, publishers, media activists and feminist activists to convene and address myriad issues impacting the lives of girls, women and to strategize on getting women’s voices heard more fully in the mainstream, independent and alternative media.

With a conference theme of Inside/Outside, the conference was full of workshops, panel discussions and film screenings that provided participants with an expanded network of international resources.

Read some of the feminist liveblogging from WAM! 2009.


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