31.10.2014 - Communication & Information Sector

UNESCO and partners give global push to women in the media

UNESCO in collaboration with the Islamic Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation convenes the inaugural meeting of the international steering committee of the pioneering Global Alliance on Media and Gender (GAMAG) which will be held from 4-6 November in Geneva, Switzerland.

GAMAG is a UNESCO-led global movement to promote gender equality in and through the media. It had its genesis in the groundbreaking first Global Forum on Media and Gender which took place in December 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Several decades of research in the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s have yielded the same results – women are underrepresented in media staffing at all levels, including in decision making and in media content. This is fact.

All around the world, the United Nations is leading a global review of development goals that were agreed upon in the year 2000 and is at the same time setting new targets post 2015. According to the United Nations’ thematic consultation, Addressing Inequalities - Post 2015 Development Agenda, “Gender-based discrimination and the denial of the rights of women and girls, remains the single most widespread driver of inequalities in today’s world.” 

There is an urgency to unlock women’s role in media and technology which is a ground resourceto accelerate the achievement of other gender equality development goals.

The perennial narratives must delve into a renewed paradigm to consider factors such as media as civil society, approaches to get better at promoting active citizenship, gender equality as a business model for media in 21st Century, the collective role of the development community and finally the intersection between these and other related factors. See the GAMAG’s research agenda.

GAMAG as a multistakholder movement of hundreds of organisations working on gender and media issues, is catalyzing deep change. It is giving impetus to stronger partnerships and building bridges among the media, civil soiety, academics and governments. GAMAG’s international steering committee consists of 10 regional and international civil society organisations, 2 youth representatives and 8 broadcasting/print unions and associations which are the African Union of Broadcasters, Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union, International Federation of Journalists, the Caribbean Broadcasting Union, the Arab States Broadcasting Union, World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) the Southern African Broadcasting Association, and the Permanent Conference of the Mediterranean Audiovisual Operators (COPEAM). Click to see detailed list.

Senior executives from all 20 members of the international steering committee along with observers from GAMAG’s wider membership will be meeting to:

  • Discuss and agree on the inner workings of GAMAG, including reviewing and finalizing the draft terms of reference for the GAMAG International Steering Committee.
  • Review the GAMAG Framework and Action Plan and prepare a realistic work plan for the next two years.
  • Discuss and plan for GAMAG’s input to the fifty-ninth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and the review of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BDPA Beijing+20) in March 2015.
  • Identify and assess existing national, regional and international gender and media initiatives that could be magnified through GAMAG.

Look closely at the GAMAG logo again. It offers a poignant portrayal of fair representation of gender in the media. The logo illustrates balance, equality, neutrality, symmetry and a call for unity, all of which epitomizes gender equality. Click here to join and support this global movement for change.

Support your governments to respond to the UNESCO global survey on governments’ actions taken to achieve gender equality in the media.

This first historical meeting of the GAMAG steering Committee coincides with the European Economic Commission NGO-Commission on the Status of Woman Review Forum (NGO-CSW Review Forum) which will be from 3-5 November in Geneva - where UNESCO is co-convener for the roundtable on Women and the Media (4 November).

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