On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, 8 March, UNESCO joins forces with international and regional partners to launch the annual Women Make the News (WMN) initiative. This year’s WMN theme is “Advancing Global Partnerships to Achieving Gender Equality in and through Media.” It is closely linked to the International Women’s Day global theme, “Equality for women is progress for all”.
Research has shown that, on average, only 24% of people questioned, seen, heard or read about in the media are women. Only one quarter of board members governing media organizations are women. The media, as champions of freedom of expression and with their function to promote diversity, should treat this imbalance as a threat to the free expression of half the world’s population. Getting more women in the news needs to be a consistent commitment to achieve evolutionary change.
We are calling on our media partners to commit to ensuring that 30% of all experts interviewed in the news are women as a step towards achieving gender equality in editorial content.
Half the world’s population implies fifty percent of the viewership, listenership and readership of the world’s media. Responding to them is a sure business and development model. It is sure progress for media development and indeed sure progress for all.
Likewise, UNESCO is inviting editors-in-chief of newspapers, radio, television online and offline to join this initiative, and to entrust women journalists and reporters with editorial responsibility for the newsroom on International Women’s Day or during the WMN initiative.
The WMN 2014 theme this year is connected to the success of the groundbreaking Global Alliance on Media and Gender (GAMAG) which was launched during the first Global Forum on Media and Gender which took place in Bangkok, Thailand, from 2 to 4 of December 2013. Through GAMAG, constructive dialogue between media partners and civil society will be strengthened, and all stakeholders can collectively work to give momentum to women's access to expression and decision-making by promoting a gender-inclusive media and communication environment.
Gender equality in all levels of decision making in media and in content involves all and has many dimensions as described in the UNESCO Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media resource. The media civil society, governments, private sector and development organizations can contribute. GAMAG and the WMN 2014 initiative unite all stakeholders to take action. Click here to view WMN website and see more about how you can get involved. Commit to this initiative and help to spread the word.