The World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) encourages its networks, members and partners from civil society groups, associations of media practitioners and media organizations to participate in UNESCO’s Women make the news campaign to mark International Women’s Day on 8 March 2012.
International Women’s Day campaigns step up demands for the respect of women’s basic civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. WACC advocates communication rights as a basic human right that requires spaces and resources in the public sphere for everyone to engage in transparent, informed and democratic debate.
The 2012 Women Make the News campaign theme, Rural women’s access to media and information, “seeks to underscore and stimulate knowledge exchange on: the importance of policies in favour of access to media and information in rural communities, particularly for women; and good practices undertaken by public service broadcasters, commercial and community media, and NGOs.”
Only 12% of news subjects in stories on rural community concerns are female (The Global Media Monitoring Project, WACC, 2010) yet statistics show that women make up over 50% of rural populations. The evidence demonstrates significant underrepresentation of rural women and relative lack of visibility and voice in news stories important to them.
In its work with rural communities in Fiji, WACC’s partner FemLINKPacific has found that community media have “enabled rural women to dialogue with decision makers ... [the] process has given women a chance to be heard and created space for women in the policy arena” (Sharon Bhagwan Rolls, comments at a session held at the Commission on the Status of Women meetings, 2012, New York).
WACC, therefore, calls on its networks, members and partners to join the initiative that runs from March 8, International Women’s Day, to April 30, 2012. Editors-in-chief of newspapers, radio and television are encouraged to entrust women journalists and reporters with editorial responsibility for the newsroom during this period. Media organizations, professional associations, journalists’ unions, women and men working in the media and civil society are encouraged to share their thoughts on the theme on the online platform.
Learn about the 13 ways to participate by visiting http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/crosscutting-priorities/gender/women-make-the-news/.
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