The United Nations Population Fund in Belarus is translating into Russian the Resource Kit for Gender-Ethical Journalism published by WACC and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), which is already available in English, Arabic, French and Spanish. UNFPA intends to publish the kit for students and teachers of journalism at Belarusian universities, according to UNPFA Communication/Advocacy Assistant Paulina Ivanko.
In an e-mail to WACC, Ivanko said UNFPA also intends to use the kit in a seminar in early June that it is organizing for journalists on "gender and the media."
"Many people treat gender inequality and the issue of gender itself as unimportant, meanwhile it's a part of our life that affects each member of the society in many ways. Because of the low levels of understanding of gender in society, sometimes the word "gender" acquires negative connotation," Ivanko wrote.
"We want to provide our nationals with modern and sound information on gender and therefore to give them choice to decide whether they share the idea of gender equality or treat it with reserve. In this regard it's critical for journalists, university students and professors of the departments of journalism to understand 'gender' and write about it in an educated manner, to avoid simplification, as the media is the main instrument to form public opinion and to change situations for the better," she added.
"We are grateful to the World Association for Christian Communication for cooperation and support and will be happy to spread the Russian version of the resource kit for wide use," Ivanko said.
"We are delighted with UNFPA’s initiative to translate the kit into Russian, and in so doing, increase the possibility of reaching Russian-speaking journalists, educators and communicators. The interest expressed to translate the kit into additional languages is perhaps evidence of its pertinence as a useful training, learning and reference resource on gender-responsive media practice," said WACC Programme Manager Dr. Sarah Macharia
The kit is the result of collaboration between WACC and IFJ to redress gender disparities in news media content. It aims to provide an answer to the gender gap in news content and lack of self-regulatory mechanisms - where these do not exist - to confront gender bias.
It is organised in two books that may be used independently. Book 1 discusses conceptual issues pertaining to gender, media and professional ethics. Book 2 presents gender-ethical reporting guidelines on several thematic areas. UNFPA said it intends to translate both books.