EWL photo competition

// 10 March 2010

EWL_logo-86x78.jpgThe European Women’s Lobby (EWL) – the largest umbrella organisation of women’s associations in the EU – has announced the details of its 2010 Photography Competition and Exhibition.

The subject is My world: Visions of 21st Century Feminism and the competition seeks images that make a creative and powerful statement on the theme of “21st Century Feminism”.

To submit an entry you must be:

  • Female
  • Aged between 15 and 40
  • Resident in an EU Member State or Candidate country

A maximum of three entries per person are permitted and the closing date and time of the Competition is 11.59pm on Saturday 31 June 2010.

The full Criteria and Rules of Entry are available to download here (MS Word document format). Click on the image below for an A4 PDF version of the poster.


Comments From You

Hazel // Posted 10 March 2010 at 9:11 pm

I was aghast at the upper age limit until I found that this competition aims “to expose the visions of young women”.

aimee // Posted 11 March 2010 at 9:39 am

Thanks for that Hazel! I was about to make an outraged comment :)

Julie K // Posted 11 March 2010 at 9:57 am

Ah well, it’s nice to know that my potential ideas on 21st century feminism are irrelevant to the EWL.

I look forward to the day when contributions for anything (except the SAGA newsletter, maybe) are specifically requested from women over 40.

Helen G // Posted 11 March 2010 at 10:05 am

Hazel, aimee, Julie K:

Apologies for the confusion – the promotional poster I link below is quite specific in the text; it talks about a photo competition looking to expose the visions of young women of the world they live in

If you’d like to take this further, you might like to consider contacting the organisers directly; the email address I have is ewl@womenlobby.org

Apologies again for my oversight.


Laura // Posted 11 March 2010 at 10:30 am

It does seem that a hugely disproportionate number of projects focus on the views of young women at the expense of older women – it’s not like older women hold a position of power in society and their views of the world are just as relevant. (Not that that’s your fault, Helen!)

Helen G // Posted 11 March 2010 at 10:45 am


It’s easy to forget that ageism can and does go both ways – it’s not so clear cut as younger people oppress older people, or vice versa, but that both the younger and the older have different kinds of institutional power and each can and does use it against the other.

Anyway, apologies again to all for not being clearer in my original post.

Julie K // Posted 11 March 2010 at 12:12 pm

I do think “older” women (however you want to define that – I’m in my 40s and I still feel pretty young!) are all but invisible in most spheres. Worst off of all are the over-65s, whose voices are rarely sought or listened to.

I’m not saying EWL should not specify entries from young women, if that is what they find it most appropriate to do in this particular instance, but it would be nice if, just now and then, someone would consider that the rest of us might also have valuable input worth listening to or looking at, despite being on the “wrong” side of 40.

Helen G // Posted 11 March 2010 at 12:17 pm

@Julie K: I’m definitely in the “older” category and your words ring very true for me, too.

I’ll drop EWL a line and see what, if anything, they’re offering women over 40.

European Women's Lobby // Posted 11 March 2010 at 2:40 pm

Dear Helen, dear friends,

Thank you for your messages. The comments on this blog are very useful for us, and your concerns about the lack of initiatives specifically targeting ‘older’ women are most certainly noted. Please allow me to explain why we decided to fix an age limit for entrants to this photo competition:

As part of its 20 years anniversary campaign, the EWL has decided that a primary target audience is young women, few of whom seem to relate directly to the concept of ‘feminism’. A comment we hear all too often among young people is that feminism is outdated and its goals have been attained, which we all know not to be the case.

We have a number of aims:

– We hope through this photo competition to make many young women think about the concept of feminism and what it means today.

– We also hope to be able to explore and better relate to their visions of feminism so that this can feed into our future work.

– We wish to create an exhibition and a brochure which highlights how feminism is still relevant to this new generation of women.

The age limit is therefore designed to ensure the responses we get correspond with these aims. The criteria also limits the number of applicants and their experience, thereby encouraging young women amateurs to enter.

I hope this clarifies our reasoning for you. Exploring the experiences of older women is certainly not something we ignore (we do not only have 1 target audience) and initiating a popular outreach project with this perspective is certainly something for us to keep in mind for future.

The aim of the EWL is to represent all women, and their diversity. While we want to highlight different perspectives and experiences, we believe that for women’s rights and gender equality to become a reality, all women need to work together and support each other. I therefore very much hope you will assist us to the best of your ability in making this project a success.

With warm regards,

The European Women’s Lobby

SnowdropExplodes // Posted 11 March 2010 at 3:50 pm

The concern that immediately leapt out at me is that there’s no definition of “female” given. Since the questions about several feminist events recently in the UK, the question in my mind is – does this competition welcome entries from trans women?

Helen G // Posted 11 March 2010 at 3:56 pm

My rule of thumb these days is that, if it doesn’t say, then it’s safest to assume not.

European Women's Lobby // Posted 11 March 2010 at 4:15 pm

Dear SnowdropExplodes, dear Helen,

On the contrary, for all EWL work, please assume the opposite! As far as we are concerned, ‘female’ means all those who identify themselves as women. Trans women are more than welcome to apply! We shall clarify this point on our website.

Best wishes,

The EWL Secretariat

gadgetgal // Posted 11 March 2010 at 4:15 pm

They were pretty good at contacting the F-Word quickly about the age issue, maybe they’ll let us know what their stance is on trans women too – I could understand the age restrictions, because a lot of young women really don’t identify with being feminist, so it’s good to encourage them to think of it as something that is still very much relevant (so long as they don’t forget about us ageing and older types!), but I think a lot of young women who already do identify as feminist would definitely have a definition of “female” that is trans inclusive. You can see that just by reading all the comments that are on here, most of which have been left by younger feminists!

Another email required perhaps?

Helen G // Posted 11 March 2010 at 4:17 pm

Thank you, EWL – your clarification is most welcome!

SnowdropExplodes // Posted 11 March 2010 at 4:19 pm

I sent an email to the competition, and they have confirmed that “all those who identify themselves as female” ARE welcome to enter the competition.

They have also told me that they will:

* Make it clear on the competition website

* Take note of this issue in future communications initiatives

gadgetgal // Posted 11 March 2010 at 4:23 pm

Yay! I really like them! Prompt, good responses to all queries and they include everybody – am I dreaming? Are they really real?

Honestly, this has made my day today!

maggie // Posted 11 March 2010 at 5:01 pm

While I note the response from EWL, I feel this is a wasted opportunity. I think there should be two bandings. Younger and older women. It would be good then to examine the differences and of course the similarities.

Annette Lawson // Posted 11 March 2010 at 5:09 pm

As a past Vice-President of EWL and the moderator of their event at Beijing + 15 may I say I don’t think EWL normally discriminates on any grounds against any woman or a person identifying as female but I too, am concerned about the age limit. I believe we are all part of the future until the day we die and it is not only younger (under 40s) women who are writing and speaking brilliantly about feminism (the eight-letter 4-letter ‘F’ word). At NAWO’s 21st birthday event on 27th April, we will have many generations (we hope) talking both about that word and about ‘collective voices’. Still, I do see the point of the competition.

Elizabeth Law // Posted 11 March 2010 at 6:16 pm

Through the UK Joint Committee on Women I’m the current UK Board member of the EWL and would just like to add that we have been doing specific work around older women too. I don’t want to be the boring policy person in the midst of this lively debate but it seems to me we need a whole life approach to women’s situation – her whole experience. What happens to a woman when she is young affects her later life. We also need specific actions for particular groups and, importantly, intergenerational work. A tall order but I think the energy of this conversation shows we want to meet it.

Julie K // Posted 15 March 2010 at 12:04 pm

Appreciate the clarification from EWL and it’s good to hear that they are also doing work around older women. I do still feel, though, a general lack of interest (I don’t mean from EWL) about the views and voices of older women, as if it’s only youth that counts. Hell, even the F Word itself states a preference for contributions from younger women….

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