Voices on the Rise: Afghan women making the news


McGill hosts Afghan women photojournalism exhibit

Only a decade ago, it would have been unthinkable: A photo exhibit of women in Afghanistan, their faces not only uncovered but proud, frightened, engaged — doing a job that would have been viewed as an act of uncivil disobedience. Since their inclusion as citizens in 2004, women in Afghanistan are reclaiming their voices through the media and working to ensure that all Afghan women are heard.

From March 21 to April 3, Media@McGill, the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism and the Embassy of Afghanistan will present Voices on the Rise: Afghan Women Making the News. The exhibition, which highlights the link between Afghan women's participation in media, politics and the reconstruction of their war-torn country, will be open to the public in the Faculty of Law Atrium, Chancellor Day Hall, 3644 Peel Street. The media preview begins March 21 at 3:00 p.m., followed by the official opening reception at 4:00 p.m. Afghanistan's Ambassador to Canada, Omar Samad, will open the exhibit.

Featuring the work of Afghan, Canadian and international photographers, Voices on the Rise offers a glimpse into the lives of Afghan women journalists, writers, photographers, filmmakers, activists and politicians, and the challenges they face as they search for a balance between their newfound freedom and traditional responsibilities amid the constraints of living in a war zone. "Everywhere, today, people are using media as a means of self-empowerment," said Professor Marc Raboy, Beaverbrook Chair in Ethics, Media and Communications and a lead researcher at Media@McGill. "Working in unimaginably difficult conditions, these women are providing a living example of how media can change people's lives." Dr. Nandini Ramanujam, Executive Director of the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, adds, "These women and their stories remind us of the importance of continuing the struggle for the affirmation and protection of human rights and human dignity across the world. Their accomplishments represent the crucial role women play in building more peaceful and respectful societies."

Based in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies, Media@McGill is a hub of research, scholarship and public outreach on issues and controversies in media, technology and culture. Its activities are supported by a range of sources, most notably the Beaverbrook Canadian Foundation.

As part of the Faculty of Law, the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism is a locus of intellectual and physical resources for engaging innovative legal and interdisciplinary research, dialogue and outreach on some of the most compelling social problems of our modern era.

The exhibition is also being shown at Université de Montréal between March 8 - 20.

On the Web:
Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism

Contact Information

Allison Flynn
Media & University Relations Office, McGill University
allison.j.flynn [at] mcgill.ca
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