|Media and Gender Monitor: Global Media Monitoring Project 2005|
|Written by Media and Gender Monitor|
The Global Media Monitoring Project 2005
Women in bikinis and tangas posing on a beach, heart attacks and snoring. To most there would seem to be no obvious connection between these disparate items, but in one Turkish television news report in February 2001 it was deemed appropriate to illustrate a serious story on research into the link between heart attacks and snoring in women with video footage of scantily-clad women posing on a beach. What message does this deliver about women in the news? It was stories like these that came under the microscope in the Global Media Monitoring Projects (GMMP) carried out in 1995 and 2000. Based on the success of the two past GMMPs and in response to calls from women and communication groups worldwide, the WACC Women's Programme has decided to co-ordinate the third Global Media Monitoring Project, to take place in 2005. As the WACC Women's Programme begins preparations for the third Global Media Monitoring Project, to be held in 2005, the Media and Gender Monitor explores a few of the different ways the results of GMMP 2000 have been used by communication groups around the world.
Communicating for Peace
Bombs reign down, shots are fired nearby and the camera closes in on a woman huddled in a doorway, crying and cradling her injured child. At home, the viewers feel sympathy for these victims of war, just as they have for countless other women and children many times before. This woman and her child could be from anywhere; the violence raging around them about anything, for this is the standard fare of conflict reporting.
16 Days of Peace
On November 25th 1960 in the Dominican Republic, three sisters, Patricia, Minerva and Maria Teresa were brutally beaten and strangled to death. The Mirabel sisters were political activists and a symbol of resistance towards the dictatorship of the day. It was on their way to visit their husbands, imprisoned for their participation in the resistance movement, that their violent murders occurred. Every year, their death, and violence against women worldwide, is remembered on this day, now marked as the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Since 1991, the 25th of November has also marked the beginning of the international campaign '16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence'.
Challenging Violence Against Women in Egypt
Turning on the television to any Egyptian channel, the viewer is immediately confronted with high levels of violence against women. Just as disturbing as the portrayal of violence against women on state television, is the lack of public reaction to it. Not only does Egyptian society not condemn such violence, it views it as a commonplace and acceptable occurrence. Every day, state-owned television underlines that beating women is normal. Worse still, many women themselves have internalised these oppressive conditions to the extent that statistics published in the Egyptian Demographic and Health Survey in 1995 show that more than 86% of Egyptian women agree that there are reasons that justify a husband beating his wife. The only real area of debate amongst these women is the behaviour for which their husbands are entitled to beat them.
The Gender Dimensions of ICTs
ICTs have only recently emerged on the African continent and especially in the Francophone African region. Women are currently marginal users of ICTs and have had very little participation in formulating the policies, strategies, regulations and norms that are guiding the development of ICT infrastructure in the region. As such, there is a risk that ICTs will ultimately reinforce gender inequalities, rather than become the magic solution that has been touted. This article is also available in French
Section J: A Women's Revolution
The 20th century saw a change in values stemming from a questioning of beliefs that had been accepted for thousands of years. From a feminist perspective, what this means is a new system of relations between men and women, a reinterpretation of what constitutes democracy and politics and a redistribution of power and income. The media, however, have been slow to reflect these changes with women still portrayed as passive recipients of change, rather than the active participants that they are - the media have ignored history. This article is also available in Spanish
The Right to Communicate: Women in the Information Society
The absence of women's voices and perspectives in the information society indicates that 'new' information and communication technologies (ICTs) reflect many of the gender patterns (in relation to power, values and exclusion) that have been evident for decades in the 'old' media. Indeed, these patterns cannot be divorced from gender relations in society as a whole. Neither 'old' nor 'new' media can by themselves offer solutions to the problem of gender inequality.
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