Leicester expert features on BBC 100 Women series

The BBC’s 2016 season of 100 women has featured expert comment from our University.

In the section dealing with women engaging in street protests, Dr Kaitlynn Mendes (pictured), an Associate Professor of Media, Communication and Sociology, comments on why millions have taken to the streets and to social media to campaign for women's issues this year.

Dr Mendes is featured due to her expertise in street mobilisation and media.  Commenting on the BBC’s 100 Women series, she said: “I think it's very important that the programme features women from around the world, whose stories are not often 'newsworthy'. These women are involved in a number of interesting, important and inspirational activities which, without this programme, we would likely never have heard of.

“Programmes like these are for important for showcasing the amazing things that women from across the world are involved in.  It also highlights that although women have made much progress in terms of rights, there is still much work to be done, particularly in this 'backlash' climate which has seen a return of the rise of conservativism which threatens to reverse much of the progress which has been made, and to stall progress of others.”

Dr Mendes’s main area of research falls in the field of feminist media studies. She is an expert in representations of feminism, feminist activism and feminist activists in mainstream news media, feminist online media, and social media. As lead researcher on an AHRC funded grant, she has begun to examine the ways that feminists are using online spaces to challenge misogyny, sexism and rape culture, as evidenced by the recent SlutWalk movement, and how this is activism is bringing feminism to the public’s attention once more.

The BBC’s100 Women season showcases three weeks of inspirational stories about 100 influential and inspirational women around the world.  They have created documentaries, features and interviews, giving more space for stories that put women at the centre.

The season also coincides with a campaign to end gender inequality.  The University is a partner in HeForShe created by UN Women. The HeForShe solidarity movement for gender equality provides a systematic approach and targeted platform on which men and boys can engage and become change agents towards the achievement of gender equality. HeForShe invites men and boys to build on the work of the women's movement as equal partners, crafting and implementing a shared vision of gender equality that will benefit all of humanity.