29.04.2013 - UNESCO Office in Amman

UNESCO supports the commitment of Jordanian journalists on gender-balanced reporting

©UNESCO AMMAN

As part of the UNESCO project ‘Enhancing Professional and Accurate Media on the Electoral Process in Jordan’, the Jordan Media Institute, partner of the initiative, held a workshop on Gender-Balanced Reporting to Jordanian journalists. The mentioned Project is funded by the European Union and is implemented in the framework of the reformed electoral process in Jordan and the 2013 parliamentarian and municipal elections.

“UNESCO believes that gender discrimination is a violation of human rights, and therefore a barrier to peace, sustainable development and the achievement of all internationally recognized development goals. Media has a highly relevant role in the fight against stereotyping of women and inequality in women’s access to and participation, particularly in electoral processes”, commented Dr. Anna Paolini, Head of UNESCO Amman Office and UNESCO Representative in Jordan.

The workshop, conducted by Ms. Randa Nafaa, Gender and Development Specialist, and Ms. Rana Husseini, journalist and gender equality activist, tackled issues such as gender discrimination in the media and reporting on gender issues during elections.

“Our aim was to stimulate a dialogue on gender equality and engage participants in a process that could have positive practical implications on gender sensitive reporting. Participants have emphasized that the training helped them not only acquire new knowledge and skills in gender, but also reminded them of the basics of accurate, clear and fair reporting in objective journalism. For some, it meant changing their entire perspective and acquiring a new attitude at both the personal and professional level,” commented Ms. Nafaa after the sessions conducted.

Attending the workshop were 22 journalists, over half of which were women. The workshop was followed by enriching and inspiring debates on how to cover gender issues from a journalistic perspective. “This training has definitely brought to our attention the urgent need to channel more capacity building resources to bring about a change in the traditional perceptions of journalists, bloggers and activists and to highlight the intimate relationship between human rights and gender sensitivity”, assessed Yasar Durra, Director of Training at Jordan Media Institute.

“Arab societies still keep the patriarchal family structure and although the role of women has evolved a lot in the last years, still we suffer from gender inequality. Unfortunately media has not tackled this issue thoroughly so far and also the so-called ‘Arab spring’ did not particularly focus on this matter, so journalists should make a commitment to increasing awareness of the issue and to report on gender inequality cases,” said Moath Qatatsheh from Transparency Jordan who also attended the workshop.

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