UNESCO Launches Women Make the News 2010

Under the theme “Towards Gender Sensitive Indicators for Media: Best Practices for Gender Perspective in Media and in Media Content”, WMN 2010 is intended to initiate a global exchange on the importance and the need for gender sensitive indicators for media organisations.

Fifteen years ago the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, adopted at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, highlighted the key role of media to promote gender equality in all spheres. All stakeholders are called to join forces to combat “stereotyping of women and inequality in women’s access to and participation in all communication systems, especially in the media”.

As organisations all around the world take stock of the achievements and outcomes of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration, UNESCO and its major international partners believe there is a need to emphasize the role of media to achieve the objectives of the Declaration.

“This gives rise to such questions as: How media institutions can effectively assess their gender sensitive responsiveness and how civil society can, in turn, evaluate this responsiveness?” said a statement. “Are media merely transmitters of information relating to gender equality or are they joint partners to operationalise the Beijing Declaration, enabling the creation of knowledge and multiply its outcomes? How can media effectively play this role? It is hoped that this year’s campaign will help to answer some of these questions.”

“Therefore UNESCO, together with its partners, is inviting media organizations, professional associations, journalists’ unions, women and men working in the media and civil society to use this platform. Please share your thoughts on some priority elements you think should be considered to measure how responsive the media are to gender issues in all aspects of their operations, and why you think these elements should be prioritised. Share your best practices in considering gender equality in media and in media content. Kindly submit your contributions to us by 30 March 2010 via the WMN website… They will contribute to inform UNESCO’s decision to support the development of gender sensitive indicators to be used by media organizations and civil society and will be featured on the Women Make the News 2010 website.”

UNESCO is also inviting editors-in-chief of newspapers, radio, television on and offline to join this initiative, and to produce special programmes on this topic and entrust women journalists and reporters with editorial responsibility for the newsroom for a limited period over the duration of the WMN campaign.

The partners who have endorsed this initiative include the International Federation of Journalists, the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, the Caribbean Broadcasting Union, the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development, the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre, the International Association of Media and Communication Research, the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication, the International Radio and Television University, the European Broadcasting Union, the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association, the Network of UNESCO Chairs in Communication (Orbicom), COPEAM and the Ibero-American Television Organization.