Women Bylines: Giving Voice to Women and Girls All Over the World

Because female narratives of all kinds need to be heard loud and clear.

Most Popular

Founded by Gucci, Beyoncé, and Salma Hayek Pinault, CHIME FOR CHANGE is a global campaign whose mission is to unite and strengthen the voices speaking out for women and girls all over the world. Many remember CFC's epic fundraising concert in 2013, where stars like Jennifer Lopez and John Legend joined Queen Bey to raise millions of pounds for the cause.

Women Bylines, a CHIME FOR CHANGE project dedicated to bringing marginalized women's voices to the forefront, followed in 2015 and continues today.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

How the Women Bylines Project Works

Women Bylines takes form in a series of workshops, during which acclaimed journalists and authors nurture other women in the art of telling the stories of under-represented females globally.

Salma Hayek shared the rallying cry for Women Bylines, calling for people to "listen very carefully to the voices that have never been heard before."

The first Women Bylines event took place in Erbil, Iraq in 2015, where esteemed journalist, activist and Bylines project lead Mariane Pearl conducted a storytelling workshop for Yazidi and Christian refugees who'd fled ISIS.

Most Popular

Women Bylines, Paris 2017

ELLE UK joined the most recent workshop this July in Paris to experience the project in person.

Twelve French women writers gathered for a week at the Kering offices on the left bank, keen to tell stories of refugees, sexual assault survivors, and more, through the medium of written word, photography, and film.

Mariane Pearl
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Pearl handpicked the women in the Paris course, instructing each to arrive with a personal story to share. After one week, the collection of women—some who'd only just begun their writing careers—had told one another their most intimate tales.

Getting Personal: Why Mariane Pearl Joined Women Bylines

Many know one of Mariane Pearl's own stories, which underpins her work on Women Bylines.

Pearl's husband, American journalist Daniel Pearl, was beheaded by the Taliban in 2002; she gave birth to their son shortly after his death.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Months prior, the 9/11 attack on New York's World Trade Center killed almost 3,000 people, leaving thousands of children mourning parents and devastating communities around the world. Pearl recalled the one question that kept springing to mind every time she looked at the rising death toll: "Is there any hope?"

Choosing to believe that the answer was yes, she began her quest for hope and found it being fostered in women's narratives.

Mariane Pearl Mentoring Workshop Participant Anaãs Condomines
Most Popular

The Workshops

The schedule of events began with an overview about how best to begin an interview with even the trickiest of subjects. Documentary filmmaker Stephanie Lamorre gave a specific lesson on gaining trust in dangerous gang territory.

Lamorre spent a year with female gangs in L.A. for a documentary called L.A: Gangs de femmes. She explained how she saw a lot of herself in the women she followed, along with "a desperation to exist in a world deserted by love and the daily struggle to survive your own life."

Another workshop coached the participants in how best to avoid traditional victim/hero narratives which plague most depictions of refugees and abuse survivors.

The End Result

Pearl believes there's a universal truth when it comes to how women tell their stories: Over the course of her career as a writer and reporter herself, she's found that whatever women suffer, they respond with overwhelming compassion.

"I've seen women go through all kinds of really hard situations," she told us in Paris, "and they always want to do something to help others."

Pearl noted that while all the Paris invitees were different, they were all bound together by a commitment "to holding up other women."

In her eyes, there's no difference between these French women and the Yazidi women she did a similar workshop with just two years ago: Intense workshopping transformed each. From those just finishing university to women decades into their careers, all left newly inspired to share their—and other women's—stories with the world.

Workshop Participants Delphine Dhilly and Olivia Gay

Follow Marie Claire on Facebook for the latest celeb news, beauty tips, fascinating reads, livestream video, and more.

From: ELLEUK
More from Marie Claire:
Brigitte Macron, Emmanuel Macron
Politics
Share
Brigitte Macron Addresses Her Relationship's Age Gap for the First Time
Politics
Share
A Former White Supremacist Condemns Trump: "He Is the Leader They've Been Waiting For"
donald trump press conference
Politics
Share
The White House Said Donald Trump Was "Entirely Correct" When Referring to "Both Sides" Acting Inappropriately
Politics
Share
Donald Trump Says He Owns One of the Largest Wineries in the U.S. He Doesn't.
Politics
Share
Barack Obama's Anti-Racism Tweet Is Now the Most-Liked Tweet Ever
Politics
Share
Trump Just Blamed Charlottesville Violence—Again—on "Both Sides"
Politics
Share
Donald Trump Retweets and Then Deletes a Cartoon of a "Trump Train" Killing a CNN Reporter
Politics
Share
This Is Us: White Americans Can't Distance Themselves from Charlottesville
Politics
Share
Here's What You Should Know About Heather Heyer, the Woman Killed at the Charlottesville Rally
Politics
Share
Obama Reacts to Charlottesville Violence With a Nelson Mandela Quote