International Women’s Day 2020: I am Generation Equality – Realizing Women’s Rights
AMARC Europe is joining the International Women’s Day 2020 campaign
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action adopted in 1995 at the 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing/China. AMARC Europe supports the The Beijing Declaration’s resolutions fully in order to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and girls, fight women’s economic independence and the structural reasons for economic fractions, to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls, ensure equal access to and equal treatment of women in education and health care and enhance women’s sexual and reproductive health as well as education and promote and protect all human rights of women and girls and include men to participate in all actions to achieve full equality.
This year’s International Women’s Day campaign I am Generation Equality campaign is bringing together people of every gender, age, ethnicity, race, religion and country, to drive actions that will create a gender-equal world. However, there is still a way to go: “But even though there has been progress, no country has achieved gender equality. Our best hasn’t been good enough. Challenges remain for all countries, although many of them are not insurmountable.” says the statement of the UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka on this year’s topic.
Media as Key Promotor for Gender Equality
Local, national and international media outlets remain an impactful daily source of information, discourse and exchange platform for a majority of persons in Europe and around the world. Who appears in and creates the news, which angles are been used to report on women and gender equality, how women are portrayed and what is been left out matters as structures and systems of discrimination and inequality are been reinforced through media systems.
The data on women in media, however, is unambiguous: in Europe only 24% of persons who are interviewed, or the focus of a news item are female and only 2 of 12 public radio stations in Germany are directed by women. Women’s points of view are rarely heard in the topics that dominate the news agenda; even in stories that affect women profoundly, such as gender-based violence, it is the male voice that prevails.
AMARC Europe fights for Gender Equality
AMARC Europe emphasizes the importance of the role played by women in the field of communication, media production and community media and identifies key areas for the continuous fight for women representation and gender equality on and off air:
- Women’s access to the airwaves:Women need to have access to the airwaves, in terms of the ability to make their own programmes about political and social issues and entertainment, and also to have programmes that deal with women’s issues.
- Women’s representation on air: Encourage the representation of women in their diversity, and do not emphasise stereotyped roles, such as within the family, for women. Ensure that all people, regardless of gender, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, etc are treated with respect and dignity in all aspects of the content broadcast on the station, whether in editorial content or advertisements aired.
- The special needs of minority women: The diversity of women’s experiences needs to be recognised, and space should be created for women who have faced further forms discrimination, oppression or neglect by commercial and state media. This includes special provisions for including differently abled women, women from minority ethnic, caste or indigenous backgrounds and women from sexual minorities, such as lesbians and transgenders.
- Women’s representation at all levels of station management: Community radio has better women’s representation than either commercial or government-owned/ public media. However, women are still massively under-represented, particularly in areas of decision-making and technical skills and there are too many stations where there is no effective representation of women.
- The use of appropriate technology: While some women are proficient in the use of information technologies, there remains a gendered digital divide and the majority are not. Women are often excluded from the use of technology, including the use of traditional technology, such as operating a radio studio. It is important to acknowledge this gendered digital divide and overcome it, through both dedicated technical training by and for women and investment in appropriate technology.
- Funding and capacity building for women’s radio: Capacity building is a key component for achieving gender parity. This does not only apply to capacity building for women involved in the station, but for both men and women so that they can work together to build a safe, nurturing and supportive environment where all feel able to contribute their best to all aspects of station success.
AMARC Europe calls on its over 250 members in over 20 European countries, friends and colleagues from the (community) media and communication field to make gender equality reality and contribute to this year’s International Women’s Day theme “I am Generation Equality – Realizing Women’s Rights”