GCU Professor clinches top gender equality award for hard-hitting blog

29 November 2018

Congratulations to GCU Professor of Criminology and Sociology Lesley McMillan for winning the prestigious Write to End Violence Against Women Awards Best Blog category.

She was up against tough competition but her blog tackling the emergence of rape prevention technology came out top in the awards which recognise and reward high-quality violence against women journalism.

The Write to End Violence Against Women Awards were developed by Zero Tolerance, alongside NUJ Scotland, White Ribbon Scotland, Scottish Women’s Aid and Rape Crisis Scotland to support excellence in journalism furthering the cause of gender equality.

Professor McMillan co-authored the winning article entitled 'Technologising Rape and Sexual Assault: Can we really innovate the problem away?' with Professor Deborah White, of Trent University, Ontario, as part of a series for 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence in the Gender Politics at Edinburgh website.

Professor McMillan said: “We are delighted to win this meaningful award and to be part of the collective effort to write to end violence against women."

She explained where the idea came from to write the blog: "We began to realise how many of these new technologies were arising, and we were concerned that, despite often good intentions, there was potential for unintended consequences.

"We felt that beyond just writing about the phenomenon for an academic audience, we wanted to share what we were learning with a wider audience - those to whom the devices are aimed."

In 2014, GCU’s Reader in Sociology and Social Policy Dr Nancy Lombard won the Best Article prize at the Write to End Violence Against Women Awards for her piece in The Conversation entitled ‘Girls are taught young that violence towards them is normal’.

The article states that locally, nationally and globally, men’s violence against women is an endemic social problem and an enduring human rights issue within all societies and cultures, supported by data. She also reflects on her own experiences as a volunteer, activist and researcher in the field of violence against women since the age of 18.