UNESCO Launches ‘Women Make the News 2013’

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‘Women Make the News’ Initiative

On March 8, 2013, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in collaboration with international and regional partners, launched the annual Women Make the News (WMN) initiative with the theme, “Towards a Global Alliance on Media and Gender.”  The initiative was launched to mark the International Women’s Day (IWD).

Editors-in-chief of newspapers, radio, television on and offline were invited by UNESCO to join its initiative, and to produce special supplements and programme on relevant topics.

UNESCO also called on them to entrust women journalists and reporters with editorial responsibility for the newsroom for a limited period over the duration of the WMN initiative.

Women Make the News is a global initiative aimed at attracting global attention to an issue relating to gender equality in and through the media, driving debate and encouraging action-oriented solutions until global objectives are met. It is marked annually on March 8 to coincide with IWD.

UNESCO said it is to this end that it has developed resources such as the Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media.

The Theme for 2013 edition is related to the Global Forum on Media and Gender (GFMG) scheduled to be held in November 2013. It noted that the theme of the United Nations observance of IWD 2013 is “A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women.” This theme will be one of the main topics to be addressed during the Global Forum on Media and Gender.

UNESCO plans to draw attention to the need for a global means, including media partnerships, to follow-up on the gender and media objectives of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

According to UNESCO, another key topic will be integrating media in national gender policies and strategies.

The partners said it is also inviting media organizations, professional associations, journalists’ unions, women and men working in the media and civil society to use March 8 to share their thoughts on what could be the possible form of the Global Alliance for Media and Gender, what should it do and priority themes that the GFMG should address.

In addition, it asked such organizations to share their experiences and best practices in reporting or advocating for the end of violence against women and focus on questions such as:

  • Do national gender policies and strategies exist in your country?
  • Are media featured in these policies and strategies?
  • What has been the impact of media involvement in these gender policies and strategies?

Participating organizations submitted their contribution to UNESCO by March 30, 2013 via the UNESCO website, which informed UNESCO’s programmes.

UNESCO will feature some of the best contributions on the ‘Women Make the News 2013” web page.