GMMP was born out of the 1994 international Bangkok conference on “Women Empowering Communication” organised by WACC in conjunction with two other international women’s networks, the IWTC and Isis International, Manila..
The first GMMP took place on 18 January 1995 and was organised by the NGO MediaWatch Canada. Over 15,000 news stories were analysed by hundreds of volunteers in 71 countries.
The results were presented in the publication “Global Media Monitoring Project: Women’s Participation in the News” and were released to great interest at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.
The idea for an international day of monitoring was born in 1994 at the Women Empowering Communication Conference in Bangkok, Thailand. There was such a big interest in the initiative that it was included in the conference declaration. MediaWatch Canada took up the challenge of coordinating the initiative with the aims of building solidarity, creating media awareness and developing media monitoring skills worldwide.
Erin Research, Inc. was contracted to design the research instruments (which were pilot tested in June, 1994 in Argentina, India, Japan and the Netherlands), analyze the data (more that 49,000 records) and write the global report. The result was a global picture of women in the news in 1995 and a benchmark for future monitoring.
In 2000, five years after the first GMMP, the WACC Women’s Programme coordinated a more extensive and qualitative GMMP study.
GMMP 2000 aimed not only to assess changes in worldwide representations of women and men by the media since 1995, but also to improve and build upon the original study by involving more organisations in the research and by making the study more contextual.
The actual monitoring day on 1st February 2000 generated tremendous excitement and solidarity among the hundreds of participating groups in 70 countries which generated over 50,000 data records from some 16,000 news stories. As the French monitoring group put it, GMMP “is changing the way we ‘read’ the media… and it will help us to show other journalists how and why things need to change”. Preliminary results of GMMP 2000 were released in time for Beijing +5 events in June 2000 and the final results were published in a book entitled Who Makes the News? (downloadable below), providing an extensive analysis of gender representation and portrayal in the world's news media in the 21st century.
GMMP 2000 Report: GMMP2000.pdf 1.23 MB
In early 2003, in response to calls from gender and communication groups worldwide, the WACC Women's Programme decided to coordinate a third GMMP, to be held in 2005. The decision was met with widespread enthusiasm from both past GMMP participants and others who wanted to take part in 2005. As one gender and media literacy activist in Japan put it, “It is truly exciting to know that you are planning to conduct the third GMMMP. We are looking forward to it”.
Since then, both the WACC Women's Programme and numerous gender and communication groups throughout the world dedicated their time and effort to preparing for the international day of monitoring.
GMMP 2005 aimed to demystify research and empower more NGOs to carry out their own research, create a widely usable but more refined research tool, produce an up to date research study useful for gender-sensitisation, education and training purposes, provide a tool for activists to lobby for more gender-sensitive communication policy, and to promote media literacy, solidarity and networking among women’s communication groups. Whilst in many ways GMMP 2005 was very similar to the previous studies in 1995 and 2000, there were various improvements that come with the advantage of hindsight provided by the experience of the earlier studies.
GMMP 2005 contained more qualitative analysis of the media situation – participants were asked to supplement their reports with contextual information about the media situation in their countries. Discussions with previous GMMP participants on the pertinent gender and media concerns in their particular country informed the design of the methodology for GMMP 2005, thus allowing for more relevant country results and therefore a more useful lobbying tool for participating groups. Building on the success of press conferences held after GMMP 2000 in a number of countries including Holland and Germany, monitoring groups were provided with instruction kits on calling press conferences and publicising national and global results.
In April, the Women’s Programme held a four-day consultation meeting in Cape Town, South Africa at which 15 women from around the world came together to discuss the aims, methodology and follow-up to the next GMMP. This allowed coordinators to refine GMMP, building on its past successes and learning from its problems.Back To Top