In general, the Meeting will seek to initiate a process to:
• Expand the mandate and reach of key stakeholders to promote gender equality through the design of an International Development Cooperation Framework on Gender and Media that can give support to actions at the national, regional and global levels – in particular the activities of the Global Alliance on Media and Gender. The Framework can take varying forms as detailed in the section below, Overall Strategic Approach;
• Recognize the Critical Area of Concern J of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, Women and the Media Diagnosis as central to all other Critical Areas of Concern, endorse and build GAMAG as a mechanism to accelerate implementation and systematic follow-up;
• Encourage commitment to mainstream or strengthen gender and media objectives in the programmes and budget of the development partners as well as through their communication strategies of their own media services.
The Sustainable Development Goals project a world where all women and men contribute to and benefit equally from development; a world where women and men of all ages can equally access information through media including online platforms for self-expression, including cultural expression and contributing to peace.
The International Development Cooperation Meeting on Gender and Media will give impetus to all stakeholders to work together to achieve gender equality and empowerment of women in and through media, including online. The Meeting answers to the call for global partnerships as in the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 8, “Develop a Global Partnership for Development”. It resonates with the proposed Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16, target 10 concerning measures to promote public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms by 2030, as well as SDG 17 on “Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development”. Finally, the Meeting advances the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) and Action Plan on Transformative Financing for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.
Several decades of research have clearly shown that, despite some improvement, women remain consistently under-represented in media staffing at all levels, in particular in executive decision making and technical areas, and often misrepresented in editorial content. Women are also under-represented in media regulatory and professional organisations. Also relevant is women’s access to the Internet.
The media, including online platforms, can promote women’s full participation in every aspect of life and in achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment. They have a potential to promote editorial policies in favour of gender equality in media content, eliminating stereotypes and portraying a fair representation of men and women. Media can give women a voice in news and current affairs, in all types of coverage and in all subject segments including news on war and peace making, finance, science, technology and politics. Ultimately, they can enable time or space for women to express themselves, and can promote coverage and awareness of gender equality in work, working conditions, and property rights. They can highlight the situation of women in conflict zones and violence against women.
Also of relevance is women’s equal participation in media regulators, including self-regulatory bodies, as well as unions, associations and organizations of media professionals. This is necessary to draw attention to gender parity at all levels of decision-making in the media as well as in political, economic and public life.
In this sense, achieving gender equality in and through the media including online platforms will help momentum to achieve gender equality in general. The issue of gender and media is relevant to all other gender equality issues directly and indirectly. It is therefore of relevance to all development partners. However, gender and media as a development goal has not been given the global attention it requires from the international development community. There is also a dearth of funding for salient actions being implemented.
Key Outputs of the Meeting:
• Consensus on an International Development Cooperation Framework for Transformative Support to Achieving Gender Equality in and through the Media
• Statements from all stakeholders on supporting and financing activities to achieve gender equality in and through the media
• Governments, UN agencies, international development organizations and private sector stakeholders join and endorse GAMAG as the global mechanism to contribute to sustained implementation and monitoring of Critical Area of Concern J of the Beijing Declaration and Platform
• Announcements of voluntary commitments and initiatives in connection with the Development Cooperation Framework/Action Plan for Transformative Support to Achieving Gender Equality in and through the Media