Gender and Media Advocacy Training Workshop
3-5 December 2007, Nairobi, Kenya
Nairobi Declaration on Gender and Media Advocacy
We the media practitioners, CBOs, NGOs, trainers and media monitors from Southern, Eastern, Central and Western African countries attending the Gender and Media Advocacy Training Workshop in Nairobi, Kenya from December 3rd to 5th, 2007, are concerned with the gender imbalances and portrayal within news media reporting in Africa.
Recognising that the 2005 Global Media Monitoring Project coordinated by the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) in which 76 countries participated, reveals that only 21 percent of news sources, subjects and authors are women; yet women comprise 52 percent of the population. In Africa, only 17 percent of women are news sources.
Noting that news media either exclude or objectify women which shows insensitivity and poor media ethics.
The current emphasis on Gender and Development (GAD) as an outcome of the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA), brings to bear the need for media practitioners to recognise the agency and plight of women by promoting gender balance in all ramifications of the mass media, including structures, policies and contents.
During the 4th UN World Conference on Women, 53 countries recognised that to achieve development, gender equality was crucial and media was integral to the process. It is critical for the media to have a gender balance in the coverage of news sources in recognition of the integral role of women and men in national development.
Therefore, we call upon the media to exercise their responsibility to the public and apply the standards and practices of good governance and democracy in line with freedom of speech and expression.
We see many opportunities to address the problem and contribute to more gender balanced media reporting in partnership with editors, regulatory institutions, journalistsí associations, government, communication and information officers, and civil society amongst others. We therefore propose as follows:
1. Gender and media sensitisation
- To sensitize the media on gender balanced reporting. This can be done by exposing practitioners and civil society to the GMMP 2005 findings; particularly on how best the media can respond to the critical observation that women still do not make news. To achieve this, we will engage the media in debates on the GMMP 2005 findings to address the issues raised in the report.
- To expose media to existing gender instruments which would guide gender responsive coverage.
- To target both the mainstream and community media through meetings, workshops and informal sessions.
- To organise a regional training of gender and media monitoring trainers workshop, covering sub-Saharan Africa.
- To replicate the training of trainers nationally and facilitate expansion of GMMP 2010 into new countries.
- To develop a training manual for gender and media monitoring.
3. Regional Directory of Women Experts
- To create a regional on-line and print version of the directory of women experts covering diverse thematic areas.
- To partner with existing networks and contacts in the region to develop the directory.
- To distribute the directory to media in order to increase the ratio of women as news sources.
4. Media literacy training
- To raise critical gender and media awareness with consumers and encourage their active engagement with media.
- To create an interactive gender and media monitoring website for media users.
- To promote the use of traditional forms of communication, radio and short text messages (sms) to enhance critical media literacy.
- To establish annual gender media awards in recognition of best practices in this area.
5. Gender sensitive media codes of conduct
- To review existing media codes of ethics and communication policies in sub-Saharan Africa to establish whether or not they are gender sensitive.
- To propose amendments of the codes to make them more gender responsive.
- To advocate for the adoption, dissemination and enforcement of these codes.
3-5 December 2007, Nairobi, Kenya
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