UNESCO event in New York to highlight gender equality in the media as sustainable development

On 18 March 2016, UNESCO in collaboration with the Global Alliance on Media and Gender will be organizing an international side-event, “Breaking persistent challenges for gender equality in media” at the 60th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The event will debate the actions required to address real gender equality in media. It will spotlight the role of governments and the UN in supporting change and areas in which transformative action should be undertaken by the media.

The debate will be led by high-level speakers including Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, Ms Lee Jin Sook, President, MBC TV, South Korea, Ms Esther Park, KBS Correspondent to New York, Representative of the President and CEO of Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) America and Ms Colleen Lowe Morna, Chief Executive Officer of Gender Links and Chair of GAMAG. The deliberations will be moderated by Rev. Karin Achtelstetter, General Secretary, of the World Association of Christian Communication (Global Media Monitoring Project).

Stereotypes about women and men keep prevailing in media, film and advertising content. The 2015 Global Media Monitoring Report reports that negative trend in gender equality in media continues and it would take 77 years before gender equality is reached in media.

UNESCO supports free, independent and pluralistic media, which incorporates gender equality issues.

Gender and media, a critical area of concern of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, will be important in reaching all other sustainable development goals (SDG).

The Beijing Platform for Action underscored the individual and collective roles of media, civil society, governments, and the international development community. Yet gender equality in media does not figure among the targets for SDG’s goal 5.

The event will call for a movement beyond rhetoric to new and innovative actions, economic and political commitments, including specific and measurable targets in connection with indicators to monitor implementation of the sustainable development gaols.