“Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive”
Gender bias in media organisations, processes and products limit the extent to which women and gender minorities can enjoy their right to gender equality, to freedom of expression and access to information. These rights are recognised in international and national norms, which seek to incorporate basic universal values for the proper functioning of all democratic societies. Effective media self-regulation and policy can secure and protect these rights.
In adopting the Beijing Platform for Action more than 25 years ago, governments agreed to promote a balanced and non-stereotyped portrayal of women in the media and communication. National and international media systems were urged to develop regulatory mechanisms to promote both balanced and diverse portrayals of women in media and communication, and increased participation by women and men in media production and decision-making.
Unique global research on media law and policy, covering more than one hundred countries, to understand how media regulators have approached this mandate will soon be presented. This global mapping, in combination with in-depth case studies from Armenia, Bangladesh, Rwanda, Somalia and Zimbabwe (with Sweden as a reference), reveals a wide range of approaches and outcomes. The sum of findings points to policy and legislative measures which can bolster regulatory frameworks that supports women’s freedom of expression.
The task is not for international policy makers, national regulators, industry associations and media organisations alone. Academic researchers, civil society and the public have a role to play as well.
The study was initiated by Fojo Media Institute and the research is conducted in collaboration with the Department of Journalism, Media and Communication at Gothenburg University, with International Media Support (IMS), Niras and Global Reporting as contributing partners.
The report will be unveiled on March 16 at the Commission on the Status of Women.