BANGKOK, 27 November 2013 – Shut out and stereotyped – for many women in the Asia-Pacific region this is the reality when it comes to positions of power within mass media outlets and the way they are portrayed through them.
In Asia and Oceania, men in the media outnumber women by 4:1, according to the most recent Global Report on the Status of Women in the News Media. The report characterizes women’s representation in decision-making roles in the media as “miniscule”.
While some progress has been made, gender disparities remain stark and stereotyping the norm in regional media. Successes are often isolated and lack the concerted international push necessary to have a meaningful impact on mainstream media practices.
The first ever Global Forum on Media and Gender (GFMG) from 2-4 December in Bangkok aims to lay the foundation for an international alliance dedicated to righting this imbalance by combating gender stereotypes and ensuring women have a say at the top level of media operations.
Over 400 participants are expected to attend the inaugural forum, including representatives from broadcast and print media, journalist unions, universities and journalism training institutions, civil society groups, governments, and development agencies.
The GFMG will provide an unprecedented opportunity for these groups to discuss and debate the factors perpetuating gender inequality in the media. Localized successes in empowering women through media – community radio in some Asia-Pacific countries, for example – will also be spotlighted, with the focus on capitalizing on this momentum for wider, more impactful change.
The keynote speech will be delivered by Kalpana Sharma, a prominent Mumbai journalist and columnist who has chronicled the challenges women face in the media extensively in her works.
The GFMG follows up on the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action adopted at the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995, which stressed the need for women to have increased access to expression and decision-making through media and for an end to gender stereotyping.
Results from this landmark Global Forum on Media and Gender will feed into the next planned Global Conference on Women, which the United Nations plans to hold in 2015.
The Bangkok forum will kick off a wider global movement in the form of the Global Alliance for Media and Gender, which will be linked to events around occasions such as World Radio Day and Women Make the News, 2014.
The Event: UNESCO Global Forum on Media and Gender
When: 2-4 December, 2013
Where: Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel, 199 Sukhumvit Soi 22, Bangkok
Hotel Phone: +66 (0) 2261-9000
Hotel Website: www.imperialhotels.com/imperialqueenspark/
For further information and press queries, please contact:
Mr Noel Boivin, Media and Communications Officer, UNESCO Bangkok (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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