Applying UNESCO’s Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media in Costa Rica

On 26 November, UNESCO hosted a working session between the National Ministry of Women’s Affairs of Costa Rica (INAMU) and four experts coming from Paraguay and Uruguay. The objective was to allow an exchange between the experts, INAMU and UNESCO to understand the details and capacities required to apply the Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media (GSIM) developed by UNESCO.

The four experts, from the fields of communication, political sciences and sociology, have already applied these indicators in their countries; therefore, they dedicated this session to provide technical advice to the research unit of INAMU, who will be in charge of completing this task in Costa Rica in 2016.

UNESCO’s GSIM is a tool that was prepared in collaboration with the International Federation of Journalists. This is not a normative instrument but a flexible set of indicators that can be adapted to media of every kind. The objective of GSIM is to assess gender equality and the empowerment of women in all media, regardless of the technology used.

This tool provides information on internal policies and strategies in media, as well as on capacity building opportunities. Due to its adaptability, media organizations can evaluate their degree of sensitivity regarding gender, propose the necessary policies and strategies to fill in the gender gaps, establish objectives that are measurable, and supervise their progress in the achievement of those objectives.

Important questions were answered in this session in terms of reliability, size of the sample, timeframe for application, and the need to assess cultural content, beyond news shows. The group of experts was composed of María Silvia Calvo, from Global Infancia, Paraguay; and Giorgina Santangelo, María José Fernández and Ana Alejandra Arena, from Universidad del Trabajo in Uruguay.

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