UNESCO launches 'Women Make the News' initiative

March 8, 2012 11:39 am 

PARIS, March 8 — The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Wednesday calls on its media partners to ensure that gender equality and women's empowerment remain on the forefront of their agenda.

The UN agency aims to achieve this goal through its 'Women Make the News (WMN) 2012' initiative.

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

The theme for this year, "rural women's access to media and information," seeks to underscore and stimulate knowledge exchange, focusing on the importance of policies and programs in favor of access to media and information in rural communities.

"Much has been achieved since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995). Yet the Global Media Monitoring Project (2010) finds that still, only 24 percent of the people questioned, heard, seen or read about in the written and audiovisual media are women; 76 percent are men," UNESCO said in a press release.

The UNESCO-supported Global Report on the Status of Women in the News Media (2011) reveals that women are 73 % underrepresented in media operations, 50 percent and 46 percent of the countries surveyed in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Oceana, and the Americas, respectively.

Moreover, only 16 percent of stories focus specifically on women, said the report.

"This is indicative that there is much more to be done," the UN cultural organization argued. (PNA/Xinhua)



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