Have you ever wondered why most women’s magazines are so superficial? Why are there only skinny women in their editorials? Why do they assume all women are straight? Why is there no space for insightful articles? More importantly, why aren’t they talking about gender inequality?
Some countries do offer alternatives (like Bitch Magazine in the US, Causette in France or Opzij in the Netherlands), but Brazil didn’t have anything like it — at least not until 2015, when a group of 8 women (including myself) got together to create a more inclusive women’s magazine. With the mission to represent “women from A to Z”, AzMina is a non-profit online magazine that stands out from the rest by:
- Representing women of all ages, colors, shapes and sizes — without excessive Photoshop retouching!
- Publishing in-depth articles about gender inequality
- Being the first women’s magazine in Brazil to also talk about lesbian, bisexual and transgender women
- Talking about sex with a focus on women’s pleasure, not men’s
- Never, ever telling readers they should go on a diet (especially without consulting a doctor first)
But we had a problem: bringing such a magazine to life cost money! So we launched a crowdfunding campaign and hit social media to spread the word.
We’ve managed to raise R$50,000 (around 20,000€) in just three months with the help of 600 donors. Several celebrities and digital influencers mentioned our campaign on social media, including congress members Jean Wyllys and Erika Kokay, comedian Gregorio Duvivier and journalist Eliane Brum. We were even mentioned on UN Women’s Facebook fanpage!
Some of the biggest Brazilian newspapers, like O Globo and Folha de S. Paulo covered the magazine’s launch. By the end of 2015, AzMina was also featured on a list of 13 projects that aim to change Brazilian journalism published by Buzzfeed and Think Olga’s List of Inspiring Women of 2015. We finished the year being mentioned on the cover of Elle Magazine:
In February 2016, AzMina embarked on yet another social media campaign. This time, to raise awareness about sexual harassment during carnival. Our guide about the difference between flirting and sexual harassment went viral, with thousands of shares — including one from the federal government’s human rights’ Facebook page, which later invited us to take over their Twitter on International Women’s day.
At the time, I was interviewed by TV channel TVT about the campaign:
Last year, AzMina won a Troféu Mulher Imprensa Award, one of the most prestigious awards in Brazilian journalism. The magazine’s website gets around 150,000 visitors a month and has more than 100,000 likes on its Facebook fanpage.
Due to time constraints and living abroad, I’m no longer able to participate of AzMina’s activities as much as I would like to, so I stopped volunteering for the magazine. However, I’m extremely proud of having been a part of this project.