The Icelandic Women’s Rights Association has been a member of the International Alliance of Women (IAW) since 1907. Their IAW journal has been published since 1906. The newest edition was just published online, and focuses on the different regions of the world and selects an issue that is of particular relevance to each region and is covered by one of the 12 areas of concern of the Beijing Platform of Action. Read IWNews by clicking here!
One year ago the IAW Board decided that time had come to modernise our Journal which, for over a century, has been covering the rich history of our organization. Priscilla Todd, the editor of our Journal, has been very much in agreement with that idea and has helped a lot.
The Board in Sion in October 2014 adopted a resolution that authorised me to find a consultant to work out a new structure and layout for the Journal that would make it more attractive to different kinds of audiences, in particular young girls and women. I asked Cécile Gréboval, who used to be Secretary General of the European Women’s Lobby, to help us with the structure of the Journal. For the layout, I asked Sonia Mitralia in Greece who has designed a new logo for us. The resolution authorised me to publish a new issue for the Board to decide whether we will continue with this approach.
Another aspect on which we need to bring change has to do with the themes we deal with in our Journal. We have to start debating issues that are actually discussed by the international women’s rights movement like care work, feminist economics, the impact of multi-stake holder partnerships and multinational corporations on women’s human rights etc.
We have also to find themes that are of interest to young people and find new contributors to our Journal. We could, for instance, ask students who are doing research on women’s issues to publish their work in our Journal. We should also ask feminist activists, journalists, academics, researchers who are experts on different issues to contribute to our Journal. This is what we did for this issue.
I am of the view that the Journal could be more attractive if each time it focused on a specific theme and looked into the different aspects of that theme. This time it focuses on the different regions of the world and selects an issue that is of particular relevance to each region and is covered by one of the 12 areas of concern of the Beijing Platform of Action. Thus, for Europe it is women and the economy, for Africa it is women and decision-making, for Latin America it is sexual and reproductive health and rights/abortion, for the USA it is women and the media, for Asia it is violence against women, for Australia it is women and the environment.
Most articles have been written by new contributors to our journal, well known in their field of work. This section is called IWNews in Focus.
Other new sections in our journal are News from Institutions which will cover developments in the context of the UN, Council of Europe and other International and regional intergovernmental organizations. This edition has an article about the Istanbul Convention of the Council of Europe. IAW News in Brief has news from individuals and organizations that are members of IAW. And International Women’s News Favourite presents portraits of activists, feminists, journalists, researchers, academics, whose activities, research and ideas are of particular interest to us. This time we present a portrait of Violet Shivutse who founded Kenya’s branch of the Home-Based Care Alliance, an organization that brings together 30,000 caregivers across eleven African countries with the goal to raise their voice to lobby for recognition of caregivers as key players in health care.
I hope this approach will make a difference and make IAW more visible to the public in general.