In a move to promote gender equality in and through the media, as central to the Post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals, UNESCO and UN Women co-host a side event on gender and media at the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women.
Several decades of research have clearly shown that, despite some improvement, women remain consistently underrepresented in media staffing at all levels, including in executive decision making, and misrepresented in media content.
Director-General of UNESCO, in her message on the International Women’s Day, stated “2015 is the year to review achievements and look to the challenges that remain, as well as to untapped potential and opportunities. This is especially important as States shape a new global sustainable development agenda.”
The event will address one of the 12 Critical Areas of Concern of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, “Women and the Media”, putting the spotlight on the importance of media regulatory and self-regulatory measures and the need for global partnerships. This will help give momentum to global efforts to promote gender equality in and through the media and contribute to the discussion in the context of the 20-year review the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action during the 59th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Ultimately, it will also contribute to shaping an ambitious Post-2015 Development Agenda.
The event will build on the partnerships amongst UNESCO, UN WOMEN, the Islamic Scientific Education and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), and others which co-organized the first Global Forum on Media and Gender held in Bangkok, Thailand (2-4 December 2013). The Global Alliance on Media and Gender (GAMAG), a pioneering network of over 500 media, non-governmental as well as governmental organizations was the key outcome of that Forum. Nordic Council of Ministers and GAMAG are supporters of this Side Event.
The two main objectives of the event are:
- Increase awareness among stakeholder groups of the importance of policies within the media and at the national level, to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in and through media and highlight existing measures and best practices in this regard;
- Highlight the Global Alliance on Media and Gender as a partnership to accelerate the implementation and systematic follow-up of Strategic Objective (SO) J of Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and to nurture global efforts to promote gender equality in and through the media.
The session will be a panel discussion, having Ms Annette Young (France24) as the moderator and speakers as follows:
- Ms Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO,
- Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women,
- Ms Eygló Harðardóttir, Minister of Social Affairs and Housing and Minister of Nordic Cooperation, Republic of Iceland,
- Ms Geena Davis, Academy Award-Winning Actor, Founder and Chair of Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media,
- Ms Colleen Lowe Morna, CEO of the Gender Links and Chair of GAMAG
- Mr Matt Winkler, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus, Bloomberg.