Media Literacy Key to Closing Gender Gap

Author: Dr. Shimi Kang in, The Huffington Post Canada. 11/01/2016

"Sex and gender are clearly common topics for societal issues. Unfortunately, it is not always a positive conversation.

Signs of a hypersexual, gender-stereotyped culture clearly pop out with a quick scan of recent news headlines. We see gender insults in the current [U.S.] presidential campaign, deep concern about the presence of rape culture on college campuses, judicial blocking of gender-neutral bathrooms in schools, and backlash to the UN's appointment of Wonder Woman as the honorary ambassador for women and girls.

The Gender Gap Index quantifies the magnitude of gender-based imbalances of nations using economic, political, education and health criteria. It is designed to create greater awareness of the challenges posed by gender gaps and the opportunities created by reducing them.

[...] Thus, work is yet to be done and we must pursue completing closing any existing gender gaps.

An important first step is identifying the ways culture and media influence our understanding of sexuality and ideas about gender. As parents and educators of youth, improving our own media-literacy skills can enable the conversations needed to convert troubling topics popular in the media into opportunities for promoting gender equality."

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Advancing gender equality in media

In my opinion, the most effective strategy to achieve gender-sensitive media is:

Increased gender-awareness training of media professionals
Greater action by audiences to hold their media accountable
Stricter enforcement of gender-focussed media codes and policies
More female journalists, editors and media house managers

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