UNESCO launched Global Survey on Governments’ Actions on Gender and Media

In a move to highlight the crucial role of national governments in pursuing gender equality in the media staffing and content, UNESCO is consulting with its 195 Member and 9 Associate Member States to showcase relevant actions taken by them towards realizing this goal.

UNESCO’s consultation with governments from across the world will take the form of a global survey. The finding of the survey will be summarized in a global report which will serve three main purposes:

  • gather, analyze and distribute empirical data on progress towards achieving Strategic Objective J, relating to media and gender, of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BDPfA) from the stand point of government actions;
  • raise awareness of the topic among Member States and make recommendations as to how media and ICTs can be integrated into national gender policies and strategies, and
  • contribute to the 20-year review of the BDPfA.

The survey questionnaire draws on key action items as set forth in the BDPfA as well as relevant indicators of the Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media resource published by UNESCO. The questionnaire is divided into seven short sections:

  • Existence of government programmes and budget related to gender and media
  • Policy, legal, regulatory framework and monitoring
  • Employment and career development
  • Education, training and skills building
  • Research
  • Public awareness and dialogue
  • Gender in media content

UNESCO is working closely with National Commissions for UNESCO around the world to coordinate response to the questionnaire which can be viewed on this link.

Governments, civil society actors and media representatives met in Beijing from 4 to 15 September 1995 for the Fourth World Conference on Women. Governments expressed their determination to advance the goals of equality, development and peace for all women everywhere in the interest of all humanity. The conference adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BDPfA), which consists of twelve strategic objectives and actions.

One of these objectives is concerned with the increase of women’s participation in media and technology and the elimination of gender related stereotypes in the media. This objective is an intersection of the UNESCO Priority Gender Equality and the Organization’s mandate to promote free, independent and pluralistic media.

There are two seminal global studies in recent times which address gender and media issues. These are the Global Media Monitoring Project and the Global Report on the Status of Women in the News Media.  

Many governments have implemented programmes and policies in line with the Women and the Media strategic objective of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. However, there is no comprehensive and collective report in this respect. This global survey undertaken by UNESCO in cooperation with its Member States addresses this research gap.

Research is one aspect of the UNESCO global strategy to promote gender equality in and through the media. Other interventions include: 1) building the capacity of journalists and media organizations based on the UNESCO Gender-Sensitive Indicators, 2) policy advocacy through the Woman Make the News initiative, 3) fostering partnerships for systematic follow-up of the gender and media objective of the BDPfA through the pioneering Global Alliance on Media and Gender, 4) capacity building for girls and boys to advocate for gender equality through online media and information literacy courses, 5) promoting the safety of women journalists and launch of a university network on media and gender for further research.