IFJ and AJI Host Gender Meeting and Launch Indonesia Charter of Gender Equality in the Media

The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) held a meeting to discuss the issue of gender equality in the media. The meeting was attended by 30 journalists and representatives of journalists' organizations from various cities in Indonesia, as well as journalists from the Philippines and Taiwan at the Santika Hotel, Jakarta, on August 26-28, 2005.

The meeting concluded with participants calling on media companies, trade unions and journalists` organizations to apply policies on equality in opportunities for either men or women. The conclusion is included in the Charter of Gender Equality in the Media.

The equality in opportunities covers: access to training and choices in works, which are based on the capability of each individual for either the training or choices in works/career positions: equal access to the type of assignment; career promotion based on the factors of experience, capability, productivity and working achievement; equal wage/working remuneration.

Furthermore, there shall be equality in opportunities in: working condition, including working hours, period of leave, paid annual leave, health and working security protection, as well as the social security scheme (Jamsostek), welfare facilities and benefits related to working assignment; training on gender equality and there should be no efforts to block any promotion for structural positions.

The charter also calls on the equal rights of journalists as parents in the form of: longer period of maternal leave for women from three months with full allowance to six months (without full allowance for the other three months) to provide the rights for breastfeeding for mothers; the rights to take leave as parents for men during the births of their children; the equal rights for women to get health allowance for their families; in special conditions, flexible time is needed for journalists in relations with their working schedule.

The charter also asks media companies, trade unions and journalists' organizations to formulate the criteria of sexual harassment by news sources and others in details and its sanctions in connection with the profession of journalist.

Trade unions and journalists' organizations are particularly asked to pay attention on the composition and membership of female journalists. One of the concrete actions, which can be done, is to set up a division of women. Trade unions and journalists' organizations are also asked to keep doing campaigns on gender equality among their members and executives.

Media companies are also asked to be more sensitive on the issue of gender equality in carrying out coverage and publishing news stories. In addition to that, they are also asked to avoid stereotype and not to ignore the perspective of gender in carrying out coverage and publishing news stories.

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The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries