European & International News

Photographing Violence Against Women, Even in Norway

[Brussels, 23 August 2012] It is quite unusual to hear about Norway on issues related to women’s rights, with the reputation of the country to be far advanced on equality between women and men. This myth needs to be breakdown and this is part of the aim of photographer Walter Astrada when he chose Norway as the place to complete his magnum opus on violence against women.

A very interesting article in the blog LENS of the New York Times describes his project. He started the project in 2006 in Guatemala, where more than 600 women were murdered that year. He then documented sexual violence in Congo, where hundreds of thousands of women and girls have been brutally raped. In 2010, he focused on female infanticide and the low status of women in India.

“Everyone thinks that Norway is a paradise, and of course it is in many ways — if you compare it with India or Guatemala,” he said. “But you cannot say that a country has no human rights problems if women suffer from violence and you are not protecting them.”

The New York Times has already published an article about sexual violence in Norway, in October 2011.

For Walter Astrada, this violence is not just a woman’s issue, but an issue that affects all of society, particularly children. “If 50 percent of a country can be beaten, raped, killed or tortured, then it’s not a free country no matter how developed it is.”

The EWL welcomes his initiative, and hopes that it will be instrumental in raising awesomeness on the issue of violence against women and foster concrete policies to end this pervasive violation of women’s rights.

To watch Walter Astrada’s picture, click here.

Photo from Walter Astrada

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EWL event "Progress towards a Europe free from all forms of male violence" to mark the 10th aniversary of the Istanbul Convention, 12 May 2021.

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