IFJ's Words of Support to UNESCO's Initiative on “Women Make the News”

The UNESCO Women Make the News initiative provides an opportunity for women to be given more space and to provide balance in a profession which remains male dominated in its management and its culture.

Placing more women in leadership positions in the newsroom is urgent, not least to reflect the reality of a profession whose employment profile is increasingly feminine. But this is not a numbers game. Female leadership contributes to reporting the news with a different mindset, it truly adds to media diversity and it enhances quality in journalism.

But female leadership is not sufficient to promote gender equality in the news. To challenge the current culture of media work requires that all media workers take up the fight against gender stereotypes as a priority. Quality journalism requires that the information we deliver is truthful, unbiased and fair. Today’s gender stereotypes in the news has a negative impact on the way viewers and readers perceive society, it reinforces prejudice and it hampers progress in the wider struggle for equality of gender rights in society.

Fair and objective news reporting is a necessary catalyst to the promotion of an open public debate on gender roles and equality and to improve opportunities for all women. That is why we wish good luck to UNESCO in this crucial campaign. We will support these efforts and through our networks encourage women and men to contribute to the initiative on “Women’s untold stories”.

UNESCO Women make the news website