The WomenSpeak Project, in partnership with The Institute for Gender and Development Studies, hosted its first Songwriting Workshop on November 25th, 2017 to commemorate International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against women and the start of 16 days of activism against gender based violence. The initiative is part of The WomenSpeak Project’s outreach program to encourage women to participate in advocacy around issues of discrimination against women.
The session began with a discussion about violence against women and the various forms it takes – from domestic violence and rape to female genital mutilation and human trafficking. Participants shared their thoughts on how aspects of the culture contributed to violence against women, including the lyrics of popular songs.
Next, Ruth Osman – our songwriting facilitator- discussed various uses of songwriting and music and how it can be used as a tool for community-building and advocacy. Participants were then taken through various technical aspects of the songwriting process – from developing the point of view and narrative of the song, to using rhyme, rhythm and melody to convey message and emotion. Participants also got the opportunity to practice these techniques by creating their own verses or choruses.
Some of the comments from participants
I was reminded about how many ways women experience violence. Some are so deeply socialized within us that we don’t know or even aware of it. There is more that we can all do to share our stories of violence and loss of power by women. I am here for it.
I can be a voice to aid in the fight by the use of my words
I think it was a great opportunity and I was very happy to take the step forward. The women are all quite talented writers and Ruth Osman is very good teacher on this subject.
——-It’s great to see women seeking wisdom and sharing with one another—-Very fulfilling experience——Had a great time. Learned new things. Appreciated the workshop and the snacks.