Gender and Media: Getting the Balance Right

IPDC Thematic Debate

23 March 2012, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France

Camerawoman at the 1st Congress of the Federation of African journalists - © Paco Audije

The IPDC Thematic Debate will bring together stakeholders and Member States to discuss how to mainstream gender in media, with a specific focus on the draft UNESCO draft document on Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media that will be submitted to the Council for its consideration.

Among the organizations invited are the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the International Women´s Media Foundation (IWMF), the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), the African Media Initiative (see the agenda and biographies of participants).

The Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media are a set of indicators to assess gender equality and women’s empowerment in media. The purpose of this UNESCO initiative is encouraging media organizations to consider their own internal policies and practices.

These indicators were developed by UNESCO in cooperation with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and other major stakeholders.


Javad Mottaghi, Secretary-General, Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union

Javad Mottaghi is the Secretary-General of the ABU. He was appointed on 8 January 2010 and assumed office on 3 May 2010. Before joining the ABU, he was Director of the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) for 12 years. He has 34 years of national and international experience in media and communication.

He is a member of the board for the World Radio & Television Council (WRTVC) since 2001. Mr Mottaghi is currently Associate member of The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in New York and a member of The International Academy of Television and Radio in Russia since December 2002. He has been closely working with all broadcasting unions.

Liza Gross, Executive Director, International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF)

Prior to joining the IWMF, Liza Gross was managing editor for The Miami Herald, where she was responsible for the newspaper's visual appearance, daily production and weekend news sections. Gross, who has almost 30 years of experience in journalism and communications, is a former executive managing editor of El Nuevo Día, the largest circulation daily newspaper in Puerto Rico, and a former publisher of Éxito, the Spanish-language daily of The Chicago Tribune. 

A native of Argentina, Gross was an instructor and editor for the Latin American Journalism Program, an educational initiative of Florida International University in Miami. She also served as a reporter and editor on the Latin America desk of the Associated Press in New York City, managing editor of Hispanic magazine, and executive editor of Times of the Americas, a Washington, D.C.-based bimonthly covering Latin America and the Caribbean.

Roukaya Kasenally, Director of Communications and Knowledge Management, African Media Initiative (AMI)

Prior to joining AMI, Roukaya Kasenally was a senior lecturer in media and political systems at the University of Mauritius. She has also been a consultant for the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA), the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) and the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) on matters pertaining to political governance. In her country, Mauritius, she was the Chairperson of the Standards Committee of the Independent Broadcasting Authority as well as a member of the Press Complaints Committee of one of the largest press organisation on the island – La Sentinelle.

Roukaya Kasenally has authored/co-authored a number of publications on media and politics. She holds a PhD from the University of Sheffield, UK.

Shahira Amin, freelance journalist

Shahira Amin is a freelance Egyptian journalist writing for Index on Censorship (a free expression portal) and for She also produces and presents a weekly talk show on Nile TV (Egypt's English Language satellite channel). Shahira quit her job as Deputy Head of Nile TV during the uprising last year in protest at the biased coverage of the protests. She was also the only Egyptian journalist to interview prominent blogger Maikel Nabil in his prison cell on his 43rd day of hunger strike at a time when there was a media ban in her country on his case.

Shahira was awarded the Homes of the year Award (Nov. 2011) from Gotheburg University, the Catalyst for Change award (October 2011) from the American University in Cairo  and is winner of the Julio Aguinta Award 2012, Cordoba University for "her unwavering defence of human rights."

Mounia Bel-afia, Vice-Chairperson, Gender and Media Council, International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)

Mounia Bel-afia, a writer and journalist, is Vice-Chairperson of the Gender and Media Council at IFJ; Deputy Secretary General of the National Syndicate of Moroccan Press (SNPM); and first Vice-Chairperson of the 'International Women Forum" (Marocco chapter). She is a correspondent for France 24 in Morocco. She has a Master's in Performing arts from the University of Paris Saint Denis, and is preparing a thesis in Cinema and broadcasting.

She was awarded the prize for best investigation in the Arab world in Dubai in 2002 and the Nazek Malaika prize in Iraq in 2012. She is an international expert in the fields of women, gender, media and development. She has prepared reports and studies, and has published a book titled "Women in Moroccon Proverbs".

Alton Grizzle, Programme Specialist, Communication and Information Sector, UNESCO

Alton Grizzle works at UNESCO as Programme Specialist in Communication and Information. He manages UNESCO actions relating to gender and media and is co-manager of UNESCO’s global actions on media and information literacy (MIL). He has diverse education and experience in the fields of education, management, information systems, and media and communication. Prior to UNESCO, he was an educator/principal at secondary school and adult vocational training levels of the education systems in Jamaica for ten years.










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