We welcome David Cameron’s commitment to work with the British Board of Film Classification, Vevo and YouTube to pilot the age rating of online music videos. This follows over a year of campaigning with young women alongside End Violence Against Women Coalition and OBJECT through Rewind&Reframe to challenge racism and sexism in music videos. This is a great move towards achieving our campaign goals, and hopefully the first step to towards a compulsory age rating system for online and offline content.

One of the young women involved in the Rewind&Reframe project said she is “increasingly disturbed by the lack of recognition of everyday racism that [she] encountered, both in the people around [her], and in the media”. We reiterate the importance of recognising the harmful impact of both racist and sexist content in music videos. This is also highlighted in the recent briefing Pornographic Performances, launched less than two weeks ago as an output of the Rewind&Reframe campaign. 

Compulsory age ratings for music videos is a critical step towards curbing racism and sexism in music videos. While we welcome this move it should be part of a wider programme of action which includes elements such as compulsory sex and relationships education and media literacy, in order to support young people to identify, challenge, and navigate the media and wider society.



020 7842 8525

Statement by the Freedom Without Fear Platform: 16 December 2013

It is one year since the horrific gang-rape of a 23-year-old student in Delhi, which was followed by the emergence of an unprecedented mass movement against rape and sexual violence in India. This movement had an enormous impact all over the world and here in Britain inspired us to form the Freedom Without Fear Platform. Today we would like to rededicate ourselves to the aims we started with, while expanding them to take on new challenges.

Here in Britain we are facing a racist and increasingly repressive state, which hypocritically claims concern about violence against women while ruthlessly cutting away what few resources still exist for women’s struggles against gender violence, and attempting to destroy the possibilities for women to autonomously and collectively organise against violence. Doing away with preventative measures or escape routes for women facing life -threatening situations, the British state now disempowers women completely, literally silencing them as their cases are handed over to a racist and increasingly privatised criminal justice system run by corporates like G4S and Serco, well-known for their own violence against women from Britain to Palestine. This combination of repression and corporate profits which are at the centre of Britain’s current gender violence policies is inherent in neoliberal capitalism. 

In 2014 we will face an attempt to criminalise Forced Marriage in the face of massive opposition from the vast majority of BME women’s organisations and feminist groups. 

In continuing to build resistance to these attacks, and to strengthen solidarity with movements like the ongoing anti-rape movement in India, we are also committing ourselves to making visible

  • the resistance to rape and violence against women in India and elsewhere - against a tide of racist representations which seeks to erase these struggles and portrays women outside the West and women of colour in the West as victims waiting to be saved.
  • the endemic nature of gender violence in Britain, including that of the state, and the struggles against it - against victim-blaming and demonising of ‘culture’.
  • the historical and ongoing effects of imperialism and global capital accumulation which underpin, reinforce and intensify gendered violence and injustice - against the normalisation of war, occupation, incarceration and neoliberal plunder.

As Kavita Krishnan points out in her reflections a year on from the eruption of the movement in India, ‘The only useful movement against sexual violence can be one that brings the problem home, right into the comfort zone, that challenges rather than reassures patriarchy, that exposes the violence found in the ‘normal’ rather than locating violence in the far-away and exotic. For people in the US or Europe, it might be reassuring to imagine that sexual violence and gender discrimination happens ‘out there’ in India, rather than to look around and question the violence embedded in the ‘normal’ around them. The questions to ask would be: how does the politics of ‘protecting’ women, and of propaganda about ‘good and bad women’ play out in advanced capitalist societies? In what ways are countries like the US and UK complicit in the violence and discrimination that women face in India or Bangladesh?’



Women’s groups respond to Charlotte Church calling out sexism in the music industry



EVAW Coalition, Imkaan & Object


Charlotte Church echoes what many young women feel about the sexualised representation of women in the music industry - said a group of women’s organisations today (15 October) who are preparing to launch a new campaign to tackle such representations.

Lia Latchford of Imkaan, a network of black women’s organisations, said:

"Many young women agree with Charlotte Church’s comments that the music industry has a ‘culture of demeaning women,’ and support the call for age ratings on music videos.

"We are working with a diverse group of young women who tell us that the music industry widely represents women as sex objects and in particular reinforces racist stereotypes of black and minority ethnic women as the hypersexualised, exotic ‘other’.

"These music videos are part of the cultural wallpaper of our daily lives that helps to normalise violence against women and girls - when they include confusing imagery and lyrics about sexual consent and what women want for example.

"As part of the campaign we are currently developing young women have come together to speak out against music videos which widely sexualise and racialise women’s bodies and make them feel uncomfortable and angry. They have told us: ‘I feel angry about the dehumanisation of women and about how it has been normalised’.

"We cannot ignore the links between widespread media messages and the treatment of women and girls in our society.  Young women say: ‘Some music videos reinforce the already widespread notion that women exist solely for male pleasure and thus justifies violence against us.’"

The young women and the women’s organisations involved in the project are calling for:

  • Hosting platforms such as YouTube and Vevo to develop robust policies which prevent the hosting of racist and sexist music videos
  • The music industry, including artists and music companies, to pledge to stop making music videos which represent women as sex objects and push racist stereotypes.
  • Government to implement its recommendation on age ratings for music videos sold in shops and online, akin to those on films and video games
  • Respectful relationships and media literacy to be taught in schools

The project, funded by Rosa, is led by EVAWImkaan and OBJECT and supported by a group of young women concerned about the harmful impact of the music industry on women’s equality and safety.

There is a Tumblr site at www.rewindreframe.org including details of the project to date, and a new website including young women’s blogs on the issues will be launched soon.

For more information visit rewindreframe.org or follow us on Twitter @RewindReframe

We are proud to announce that our Executive Director, Marai Larasi, has been shortlisted for Positive Role Model Award for Gender in the National Diversity Awards!
The ceremony celebrates some of the excellent and inspiring achievements of positive role models and community organisations from across the UK. The awards aim to recognise nominees in their respective fields of diversity including age, disability, gender, race, faith, religion and sexual orientation.

We are proud to announce that our Executive Director, Marai Larasi, has been shortlisted for Positive Role Model Award for Gender in the National Diversity Awards!

The ceremony celebrates some of the excellent and inspiring achievements of positive role models and community organisations from across the UK. The awards aim to recognise nominees in their respective fields of diversity including age, disability, gender, race, faith, religion and sexual orientation.

The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) is in the process of drafting their second violence against women and girls (VAWG) strategy, and as part of this, Imkaan has been commissioned to organise focus groups and interviews to collate the views of women and girls who have experienced gender-based violence, to inform the development of the strategy. Click here for more information

The online survey is now available. This is an opportunity for women and girls who have experienced gender-based violence to shape policy for London by highlighting the value of the work in the VAWG sector, the need to provide sustained investment in this work as well as address any gaps in current service provision.

The survey contains just 10 questions, is anonymous and should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. Please email ika@imkaan.org.uk for the password.

Please see the link below: