UNESCO launches Women Make the News 2010

On this occasion of International Women's Day (8 March), UNESCO join forces with international and regional media organizations to launch the annual Women Make the News (WMN) initiative. Under the theme, "Towards Gender Sensitive Indicators for Media: Best practices for gender perspective in media and in media content", WMN 2010 is intended to initiate a global exchange on the importance and the need for gender sensitive indicators for media organizations.  

Fifteen years ago the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, adopted at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in September 1995, highlighted the key role of media to promote gender equality in all spheres. All stakeholders are called to join forces to combat "stereotyping of women and inequality in women's access to and participation in all communication systems, especially in the media". 

As organizations all around the world take stock of the achievements and outcomes of its implementation, UNESCO and its major international partners believe there is need to emphasize the role of media to achieve the objectives of the Beijing Declaration. This gives rise to the questions as to how media institutions can effectively assess their gender sensitive responsiveness and how civil society can, in turn, evaluate this responsiveness? Are media merely transmitters of information relating to gender equality or are they joint partners to operationalize the Beijing Declaration, enabling the creation of knowledge and multiply its outcomes? How can media effectively play this role? Can gender sensitive indicators for media assist? These are some of the questions we are hoping this year's campaign will help us to answer.  

Therefore, UNESCO together with its partners are inviting media organizations, professional associations, journalists' unions, women and men working in the media and civil society to use this platform to share your thoughts on some priority elements you think should be considered to measure how responsive the media are to gender issues in all aspects of their operations and why you think these elements should be prioritized. Share your best practices in considering gender equality in media and in media content. Kindly submit your contribution to us by 30 March 2010 via this website using the ‘Join the campaign' box (top right). They will contribute to inform UNESCO's decision to support the development of gender sensitive indicators to be used by media organizations and civil society and will be featured on the ‘Women Make the News 2010" web page.

We are also inviting editors-in-chief of newspapers, radio, television on and offline to join UNESCO's initiative, and to produce special supplements/programme on this topic and/or to entrust women journalists and reporters with editorial responsibility for the newsroom for a limited period over the duration of the WMN campaign.  

The partners who have endorsed this initiative include the International Federation of Journalists, Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, Caribbean Broadcasting Union, Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development, Asian Media Information and Communication Centre, the International Association of Media and Communication Research, the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication, the International Radio and Television University, the European Broadcasting Union, the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association, the Network of UNESCO Chairs in Communication (Orbicom), and the Permanent Conference of the Mediterranean Audiovisual Operators, and the 

Organización de Telecomunicaciones Iberoamericanas (OTI). UNESCO trusts that even more partners will join in.

Launched annually on the occasion of the International Women's Day (8 March), Women Make the News (WMN) is a global initiative aimed at promoting gender equality in the media. 

UNESCO Contacts: Alton Grizzle, a.grizzle@unesco.org  or Josina Sibblies, j.sibblies@unesco.org