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The GMMP has become the single most important, uniting and energizing force for those concerned about the state of gender in the news media.
The energy for change has gathered momentum with the snowballing of engagement from the widest cross-section ever of groups around the world. Indeed some define the GMMP as ‘a global social movement of people who care about gender issues’. (Nien-hsuan Leticia Fang, GMMP coordinator for Taiwan)
The GMMP process before and during data collection is just as important as the results themselves and the work following the report.
‘What’s exciting to me is […] how the process of participation itself challenges many of our ways of thinking; it challenges many of our own stereotypes’. (Maximiliano Guzman, GMMP Coordinator for Hispanophone Caribbean)
Beyond the clearly palpable excitement on the global monitoring day are the lessons in critical gender media literacy, or, understanding how to ‘read’ and evaluate media content using gender as an axis of analysis. GMMP monitors shift from the realm of passive media consumers to that of an active citizenry that
demands accountability from news media.
Monitors who are at the same time media producers begin to question their practice, the ways in which their work re-inscribes inequalities and maintains the status quo.
Following the research Edouard
Adzotsa, General Secretary of the Central Africa Union of Journalists and GMMP Coordinator in Congo Brazzaville remarked, ‘News media seems to serve male interests, attention to women is extremely negligible even though women outnumber men nationally… women are the lifeblood of communities particularly in informal settlements and the rural areas’.
Monitors located at the intersection of media production in their capacity as practitioners, and subjects of discrimination in their capacity as women, realize the GMMP’s significance as a tool with emancipatory potential: ‘We hope that what we are going to say about the representation of gender in the media will be taken seriously by media managers’. (Abebech Wolde, Ethiopian Media Women’s Association and GMMP Coordinator for Ethiopia)
What is clear from the experience of the Fourth GMMP is the significance the project and media monitoring more broadly have taken on. As Karen Ross, GMMP coordinator for Western Europe affirms, ‘…we are going to keep on doing this work…hopefully someone will take account of what we’re doing’.