Call for Articles!


Did you always feel like wanting to write an article but didn't know what to write about or how to start? This is your chance to help us out! CATAPA is currently looking for some eager volunteers to write articles for its new 'defensoras-project'.

What is the project about?

Together with partner organisations, CATAPA is administering the project 'Strategies of women human rights defenders confronting extractive industries', to uncover the prejudices and (violent) confrontations women environmental activists in Latin-America are dealing with. Women human rights defenders (WHRDs) work tirelessly for equality, justice, and peace. However, they do this under conditions of discrimination, violence, impunity, and human rights violations that put their integrity and ability to support human rights at risk. All human rights defenders (HRDs) encounter major challenges but women human rights defenders also cope with gender-specific risks and violence. While all environmental human rights defenders may be stigmatized as “anti-development” or “unpatriotic”, WHRDs are also stigmatized because of their gender and sexuality, attacked through their families and threatened with gender violence. CATAPA wants to give voice to these women, improve the visibility of their precarious situation and prompt organisations and political institutions to create protection mechanisms and ways to empower these defensoras.

Where will the articles be published and what are the topics?

One of our partner organisations, Ingeniería Sin Fronteras, is working on a website that will serve as platform where all the information about the defensora-project will be gathered. Your article(s) will be posted with your name on this platform and will be dispersed through social media.

The website will have its own structure based on 8 different topics, all about countries in Latin-America and in a context of extractive industries:
1. Stigmatization of female activists

2. Criminalisation of their actions

3. Physical and sexual gender based violence

4. Feminicides

Nature and territory

5. Rights of Nature (info)

6. Land grabbing and contamination

7. Food security

8. Militarisation

(Unfortunately) there's no need to be living in or travelling to Latin-America. For example, you can collect information from different websites/blogs/papers/other recent articles you find and create an article of your own. Of course, you should always mention your sources of information!

If you have some contacts in Latin-America, you can always try to interview them with skype to have a more personal view upon the subject you're writing about. Another way is to contact academics/professionals/persons from Belgium/Latin-America living in Belgium to interview them and broaden your background information or give your article a personal touch with stories about their experiences.

Editorial guidelines

  • Deadline: 25th of November 2017
  • Language: The article should be written in English or Spanish. Other CATAPA volunteers will proofread and correct your article.
  • In line with one of the 8 topics mentioned above (from the subcategory women or nature and territory), and at the same time in the wider context of extractive industries in Latin-America
  • Minimum 700 words – maximum 1200 words (without sources)
  • Mention your sources of information, as well in the article as below it: 

In the article:

Example: 1. Dina Suigas from UNHCR says…
               2. "New negotiations are needed", says Dina Suigas from UNCHR.

Example: Suigas, D. (2013). WHRDs in Latin-America. Consulted from:      

For more background information:

  • Weaving resistance through action: Strategies of women human rights defenders confronting extractive industries: available here.
  • WHRD confronting Extractive Industries: available here.
  • Violence against women human rights defenders in Mesoamerica: available here.
  • A deadly shade of green: Threats to environmental human rights defenders in Latin-America. Available here.
  • Criminalization of human rights defenders. Available here.
  • Empowered: Integral protection for woman human rights defenders in Mexico. Available here.
  • (ESP) Extractivismo en América Latina: Impacto en la vida de las mujeres y propuestas de defensa del territorio: available here.

Information about how to write articles:

  • 20 steps to write a good article (see enclosure below)
  • Video about the structure of an article (lead, body, conclusion) that helps you organise your news story.

Interested? More questions?

Are you interested in writing an article for CATAPA? Send an e-mail to Eline with your name and which topic you want to write about. She will also help you with all your questions and proofread your article before sending it to ISF.

20 steps to write a good article
By Münir Salih

1. In order to write a good article, first choose your topic and decide its boundaries. (The topic must be narrowed as much as possible, and the scope of it must be outlined clearly.)

2. Make a serious and detailed research on the topic. (Be sure that you have not missed any important issue written about the topic.)

3. Read treatises and articles about the topic until you are sure that you have comprehended the topic with every aspect. (Your comprehension of your readings determines the quality of your article as much as the quantity and quality of your readings do.)

4. If your topic is still too broad, revise your topic according to your readings and narrow it as much as possible. (Not limiting the topic means that you will write a heavy speech and a common composition.)

5. Make your plan! (Writing what pops into mind without any plan is useless. Plan is your road map.)

6. Classify the knowledge that you read and collect according to the plan.

7. Leave out all irrelevant information!

8. Start to write your article according to your plan. (Do not wait to be inspired. You will be inspired as soon as you begin to write.)

9. Write your article in a clear, understandable and plain language. (Using a pompous language, using obscure words and making long sentences are not the features of a good article.)

10. People of all ages must be able to understand your claims, aim and sentences easily.

11. It should be clear what you mean with the terms, concepts and words you use in the article. (While writing an article, keep an ordinary and a terminology dictionary with you at all times. The utmost danger an article faces is to use terms and concepts wrongly. Make sure that you don’t overuse terminology that could distract readers either. Terms are the fruits, frames, keys and summary of knowledge. Use them sparingly.)

12. In the introduction part, write clearly the basic aim of the article and the conclusion you want to reach.

13. Make the first sentences of each paragraph the main ideas of them.

14. Be careful that your article does not have spelling mistakes. Have a careful check to find any errors.

15. A good article is sufficiently long enough. Cross out any irrelevant words or even sentences. It is a good article if it is saved from unnecessary words, sentences, paragraphs or information.

16. Quote the sentences and information that do not belong to you referring to them either by footnotes or parenthesis. (The more an article includes references the more qualified it is. Value and eminence of an article lies in the knowledge and scholars it refers to.)

17. Make a special study of conclusion part of the article. (The conclusion is not the summary of article. It is a part that opens a door, makes an evaluation, and shows your contribution to the world of ideas, or academia.)

18. As a good introduction of an article shows your knowledge, the conclusion of a good article shows your penetration to the future, in other words your horizon.

19. A good article does not make repetitions of previous ones, instead it is a scientific text that provides openings, stimulates and contributes.

20. After completing your article, send it to a few people on whose knowledge and perspective you rely. Request them to criticize your article. Then edit your article according to their critics, and after reading again and again till you are sure, send it to relevant places to be published.