FORMER MSP Carolyn Leckie and Women for Independence are backing this year’s Write to End Violence Against Women Awards.

Scotland women’s charities launched the awards, supported by The National as media partner and on the judging panel, in a campaign to recognise journalists and bloggers across the country producing high quality work which tackles violence and gender inequality.

Zero Tolerance, Engender, White Ribbon Scotland, Scottish Women’s Aid, Everyday Victim Blaming (EVB), Women 50:50 and Rape Crisis Scotland, along with the National Union of Journalists Scotland, are hosting this year’s awards aimed at celebrating what is good about Scottish media while continuing to push for change.

Organisers said they were delighted to announce the involvement of Leckie and Women for Independence (WFI).

The winners will be announced in December at the Scottish Parliament during an awards event compèred by Leckie, who is a WFI board member and National columnist.

She said: “I am honoured to be asked to compère the Write to End Violence Against Women Awards.

“This award is a long overdue antidote to the status quo of lazy stereotypes and misunderstanding of violence against women, where usually women are blamed and perpetrators are invisible.

“This will shine a light on the insidious messages that usually pervade the media, and highlight the informed and more sophisticated contributions.”

WFI is an open and diverse network of women who aim to improve the representation of women in public and political life throughout Scotland.

It has 53 affiliated groups, around 1,000 full members and 4,000 further active supporters, with thousands more engaged via social media.

Laura Tomson, Zero Tolerance co-director, said: “We are really excited that Women for Independence is supporting the Write to End Violence Against Women Awards.

“The involvement of a network of so many dynamic and engaged women throughout Scotland will be invaluable in raising the profile of the awards and pushing for more media responsibility in reporting violence against women.”

The public are encouraged to submit good and bad — for the Wooden Spoon award — writing for consideration through the website:

There are several categories of award including Best Print Journalism Article — news; Best Print Journalism Article — comment and features; Best Student Article; Best Blog; Worst Article; Women 50:50 Gender Equality in Political Reporting.

The Zero Tolerance Handle With Care Guide offers advice on various issues from interviewing survivors to providing relevant context and ensuring that violence is neither trivialised nor sensationalised and is available on the charity’s website.