Amidst launch of publications, UNESCO, Communication University of China celebrate 10th anniversary of UNESCO Chair on Media and Gender

The UNESCO Chair on Media and Gender at the Communication University of China celebrated its 10th anniversary on 9 October 2015 in Beijing. The forum also provided the occasion to launch the Chinese translation of the UNESCO publication titled Model Curriculum for Journalism Education: A Compendium of New Syllabi.

More than 100 experts and scholars in gender and media studies as well as journalism education, along with media practitioners, attended the gathering held at CUC’s International Convention Centre.

Opening the meeting, Kwame Boafo, International Communication and Information Consultant at UNESCO Beijing Office, congratulated the Chair and its Holder Prof. Liu Liqun for their work in the past decade in promoting gender equality in and through the media in China.

He recalled some positive developments in media and gender in the past 20 years, since the 4th World Conference on Women and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

The Chinese edition of the Model Curriculum for Journalism Education: A Compendium of New Syllabi was launched by Fackson Banda, UNESCO’s programme specialist in the Secretariat of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) and editor of the book.

In introducing the publication to the Chinese audience, Banda noted that it built on the original UNESCO Model Curricula published in 2007.

He informed his audience that the original publication had since been translated into nine languages and adapted for use in over 60 countries worldwide. He explained that the new specialized syllabi were aimed at filling the gap for specialized literacies required by journalism educators as they responded to new challenges, including those relating to media sustainability, data mining, intercultural dialogue, global communication, humanitarian crisis, human trafficking, community participation, science and bioethics, as well as gender inequality. He encouraged the Chinese institutions present to make use of the Model Curriculum.

Experts from the China Academy of Social Sciences, Peking University, Tsinghua University, Communication University of China, China Women's University, All China Women’s Federation, China Women's News, Tianjin Women's Federation, among others, presented papers on three major themes: journalism education and globalization; research and practice in gender communication as well as gender discourse in the era of new media.

In her closing remarks, Professor Liu Liqun, current holder of the UNESCO Chair on Media and Gender and President of the China Women’s University, noted that the Chair has been fully implementing its role as a think tank and as a “bridge builder” between the academic world, civil society, research and policy-making in the past 10 years.

Established in September 2005, the Chair became the 18th UNESCO Chair and the first in the field of communication and information set up in China. In recent years, the Chair has transformed a number of UNESCO’s global initiatives on gender and media into actions, such as the annual celebration of Women Make the News. It has carried out a media monitoring initiative on gender awareness and sensitivity which uses UNESCO’s Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media.

Furthermore, the Chair has been instrumental in translating into Chinese a number of publications, including Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media, Getting the Balance Right: Gender Equality in Journalism and Violence and Harassment Against Women in the News Media: A Global Picture.

The Chair also launched China's Media and Gender Development Report (2013-2014) at the forum.