The principles of the Yemen Times newspaper are “independence – truth -- human rights advocacy -- knowledge – credibility” and Nadia Al-Sakkaf lives this credo every day in her work at editor and publisher.
Al-Sakkaf is also one of the “ambassadors” for the 2015 edition of the Global Media Monitoring Projects (GMMP), the WACC-coordinated study that monitors gender dimensions in the news media worldwide and has been held every five years since 1995. Al-Sakkaf is the first female editor-in-chief of a newspaper in the Middle East.
"Her stride is fast. Her energy seems boundless. She seeks reforms. She's bold; she's articulate; she's young and she has her own newspaper in Yemen to use as a platform for action," wrote Magda Abu-Fadil in the Huffington Post.
Her vantage point as a woman in a key position in the Middle Eastern media industry has brought fresh insights for Al-Sakkaf: "Being a rarity in Yemen as a woman editor of an established media institution I have realized that much should and could be done to improve the relation between women and the media. We need more women in the media profession especially in high-level positions as well as quality coverage on women in the media whether in the stories or in advertisements".
The other GMMP ambassadors are: Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro, President, Global Fund for Women; Sharon Bhagwan Rolls, Executive Director, Femlink Pacific, Fiji & Civil Society Advisor at U.N. Women and Jennifer Lee, feminist filmmaker.
The GMMP ambassadors intend to bring their personal expertise and their stories to the issues of gender and media; be consulted in areas such as public events and advocacy; highlight opportunities of implementation within regions and various constituencies and interpret the GMMP and seek cooperation and collaboration.
Al-Sakkaf brings to her new role her "experience in the media as a woman and [her] passion as a journalist". She looks forward to a time when gender equality and respect for all will be the rule, and not the exception.
“We are very grateful for the support of these four leading women communicators, who are lending their voices and their experience to one of the most important and widely recognized initiatives WACC has ever undertaken,” said WACC General Secretary Karin Achtelstetter.
The GMMP has consistently shown that there has been extremely slow progress in bringing women’s voices to bear in public discourse taking place through the news media. Not only does the news present a male-centric view of the world, it is also marked by gender bias and extensive stereotyping that underpin marginalization, discrimination and violence against girls and women.
Yemen Times is the most widely read independent English-language newspaper in Yemen. Al-Sakkaf became the chief editor in March 2005 and quickly became a leading voice in Yemen and worldwide media on issues of media, gender, development and politics.