Survivors Not Victims: Afghan Women in News

The 2015 Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) revealed that women are more than twice as likely as men to be portrayed as victims in the news globally. This finding confirms a trend first documented in the media monitoring research in 2005.

At the same time, women are now almost three times as likely as men to be portrayed as survivors, reversing the pattern found in 2005.  

Portrayal as survivors acknowledges their agency - or ability to act to transform their situations. In her blog post, Marzia Nawrozi writes:

" International media, especially since the fall of Taliban, have focused on the stories that portray Afghan women are victims alone. This one-dimensional portrayal is often used to make the argument that without help from outside, Afghan women are not capable of doing anything. Despite the single story of Afghan women in media, anyone who has lived in Afghanistan knows that in every corner of the country there are living stories of strong women fighting for their rights".

 Read "Afghan women are more than victims" here


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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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