Duke's First Annual Censored Women's Festival

This year, Duke Honor Council kicked off Integrity Week programming by hosting the inaugural Censored Women’s Film Festival at Duke University. The Censored Women’s Film Festival is an annual, not-for-profit, traveling film festival and summit organized to raise consciousness and women’s rights issues through film and dialogue. Issues of women’s rights and gender equality are too often silenced and kept from mainstream cinema and discourse. The Censored Women’s Film Festival provides a space for filmmakers, activists, practitioners, and students to use films as a lens through which to discuss the fight for women’s rights all over the world. Priority is given to films with a special emphasis on topics that have been censored or stifled, particularly as they relate to cultural and/or religious taboos. The Censored Women’s Film Festival seeks to amplify the stories that most need telling.

Throughout the weekend of the Censored Women’s Film Festival, students, faculty and community members alike gathered together in the new Rubenstein Arts Center to watch films made by female directors and producers focusing on global women’s issues. Film topics ranged from the subject of honor killings to the stigma surrounding menstruation. As part of the inaugural Censored Women’s Film Festival, Duke Honor Council hosted a Reception featuring keynote speaker, Naima Dido. Naima is an activist for human rights and women and girls’ equity and protection. Following Naima’s powerful speech during the Reception, Honor Council screened a showing of the film, Honor Diaries. Honor Diaries is a documentary film that explores violence against women in honor-based societies, with a particular focus on female genital mutilation (FGM), violence against women and honor killings and forced marriage, and lack of access to education.

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