Communication for transformation
The topic of communication for social transformation and especially communication based on feminist principles are approaches that seek to generate changes in society and promote gender equality. This is a tool that contributes positively to society with the goal of including excluded sectors such as women and especially indigenous women.
The organization ENTREAMIGOS LAGUN ARTEAN, (which has several alliances with organizations in Guatemala and the Basque Country) holds several workshops on this subject to strengthen the skills and tools of the media and other communicators.
To begin with, we must be clear that communication for social transformation is using communication as a tool to promote positive changes in society. It seeks to question power structures and challenge existing inequalities. Its main objective is to give voice to marginalized communities, promote citizen participation, and foster critical awareness. Through effective communication strategies, such as investigative journalism, the dissemination of relevant information, and social mobilization, it aims to have an impact on public opinion and public policies.
In addition to this, communication based on feminist principles is also promoted and strengthened, along with the idea that communication and the media can be tools to challenge gender inequalities and promote equality between men and women. Feminist communication seeks to make women’s experiences and voices visible, as well as to question and dismantle gender stereotypes in the media. It also seeks to promote the equal representation of women in leadership positions and in decision-making in the media. Communication based on feminist principles also focuses on promoting media education, fostering diversity and inclusion in the media, and fighting against gender violence in all its forms.
Both approaches seek to generate significant changes in society promoting social justice and gender equality. Communication becomes a powerful tool to give voice to marginalized communities, challenge oppressive social norms, and promote the creation of a more equitable and just society.
Within this context, we talked with Ana Silvia Monzón, who is a member and founder of the editorial board of La Cuerda and a speaker at the Communicate to Transform workshop. Monzón assures that this is a proposal that has been developing since women saw that the word has power, and it has to do with the recognition of women as social, historical, and political subjects, who are creators of knowledge and is also based on the idea that the words of women, whether oral or written, in any medium, has authority and the power to transform.
The purpose is to place women with their voices, with their experiences, and life experiences in both community, alternative, and traditional communication spaces, so that both the male, female, and diversity voices can be heard.
So, what feminist communication proposes is to raise and uphold the right to freedom of expression and thought, but above all, access to information from the perspective and experience of women to achieve change and provide support from the media.
“With feminist communication we give recognition to the diversity of women who are, in a way to recognize that authority, women from the countryside, from the city, indigenous women, Afro-descendants, Incas, mestizos, because they all have the right to be heard, to be recognized, to make their voice and their experience heard”, states Monzón.
Women In History
In Guatemala, women have made progress in the media. As a country, progress has been made in the last three decades. Women have managed to gain space in the media in the last 30 years in areas such as the Voces de Mujeres program, La Cuerda, and local and university programs. “It is important to recognize the work that women have achieved in these spaces and what they have managed to contribute to and inspire the creation of a more just and equitable society,” adds Monzón.
Also, women are entering into journalism, as reporters, columnists, leaders, and writers. “Regarding feminist communication, if seen in retrospect, it has its origins from when any woman in history has taken the floor and spoken on her own behalf to put forward her experience; this is where it all began. Many women even had to publish under male pseudonyms, because women were not well regarded when taking the floor and taking the initiative”, emphasizes the expert.
Now something closer to history was registered in 2011 and 2013 when TV Maya began its activities after signing the agreements in 1993, we created women’s voices.
But, there are also women who are scientists, economic experts, political analysts, and the media began to consult different voices and incorporate women into their work teams, and with this, it was proved that communication can be transformed.
In academics, the work that is being done should also be highlighted. Universities should also include gender and communication courses, “academic institutions are very important because this is where future journalists and communicators are trained, so I think that the effort at the institutional level is important, but also that spaces like those that have already been created and that continue to be sustained, it is important to teach, that journalists have the confidence to position themselves against those inequalities that still persist in the media, it is something more personal, It’s about getting involved,” she added.
To keep the issue on the table, and discuss it, we must recognize what more than half of the world’s population thinks, that is, women. For the communicator, by not including women we are missing out on the diversity of voices and views of the world, in all its diversity from different cultures and different peoples, so we are missing out on all those experiences that can enrich us personally and collectively, she finished.
If we focus on effective communication, it will be for social transformation, it will contribute to reducing the inequality gap.
Women have been agents of change and transformation in various areas. They have led social and political movements to fight for human rights, gender equality, racial justice, and other important issues. They have organized protests, marches, and campaigns to promote changes in politics and social structures. They have played a key role in transforming institutions and creating more inclusive laws and policies. In addition, they have worked in the business and entrepreneurial field, promoting innovations and contributing to economic and social development.
In summary, women have contributed a valuable perspective and have been key agents in communication, formation, and transformation of society. Their contributions have been essential to promote gender equality, human rights, and the creation of fairer and more inclusive societies.