UNESCO AND IFJ LAUNCH “WOMEN
MAKE THE NEWS 2001”
Paris, February 22 (No.2001-25)
– UNESCO and the international Federation of Journalists (IFJ) are launching
the operation Women Make the News 2001 to
call on print, broadcast and electronic media world-wide to place news under the
editorial responsibility of women journalists for a full week (March 5 to 11) to
mark International Women’s Day, March 8.
The Web-based operation is designed to draw attention to the fact that,
although the number of women in the media is increasing, they are all too few to
rise to top positions. By stressing this point, UNESCO is reaffirming the
commitment made at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing (China) in
1995 to promote equal professional opportunity for women.
Women Make the News was first
launched on International Women’s Day last year when UNESCO Director-General
Koïchiro Matsuura made an appeal to the world’s media to have women take
editorial responsibility for the day. Many international organizations supported
the initiative and issued messages backing the operation. Massive support was
registered by media organizations. More than 1,000 media from 56 countries took
part in the operation and many asked for a similar, but longer, initiative in
This year, UNESCO invited the International Federation of Journalists to
become a partner in the week-long operation. The IFJ is the world’s largest
organization of journalists with some 450,000 members in more than 100
countries. It promotes international action to defend press freedom and issues
such as equal opportunities for men and women.
In June 2001, the IFJ will organize a global conference for women
journalists, Equality and Quality: Women
in the Media as part of the IFJ World Congress in Seoul (Korea). On this
occasion, the results of a joint IFJ/UNESCO survey on the status of women
journalists will be released.
UNESCO and the IFJ believe that it is up to each media organization to
determine how it carries out the one-week Women
Make the News operation. Last year, for example, some media, for March 8,
appointed women editors-in-chief or named them head of newspaper sections, while
others chose to publish special features on issues related to women and the
Media organizations are invited to register their participation in the
initiative through the Website (www.unesco.org/march8). The site contains the
IFJ/UNESCO questionnaire on the status of women. Reactions and proposals are
also welcome on the Website.