Over 40 media outlets joined UN Women in launching the Step It Up for Gender Equality Media Compact to enhance women’s representation in the news media. South African broadcaster SABC, here with UN Bureau Chief and Correspondent Sherwin Bryce-Pease, is one of the inaugural signatories. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown.
A compact mobilizes the media
Some of the world’s leading media outlets now have something in common besides a powerful voice; they’ve signed on as founding members of UN Women’s Step It Up for Gender Equality Media Compact to address gender imbalances in the media. The Compact comes in the wake of findings of the 2015 Global Media Monitoring Project conducted by the World Association for Christian Communication and supported by UN Women. Evidence from over 100 countries confirmed that progress has been extremely slow in rectifying women’s under-representation in the media. For instance, women are the subjects of television, radio and print coverage only a quarter of the time. The survey served as a wake-up call for media houses and newsrooms who were asked to take a stand against gender discrimination. As a result, Media Compact members have now defined agendas for action.
In launching the Media Compact, over 40 signatories from all regions committed to playing an active role in advancing gender issues within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals. This commitment entails a range of concrete changes such as championing women’s rights and gender equality issues through news coverage, ensuring the inclusion of women as sources in stories, aiming for gender parity among editorial personnel and adopting a gender-sensitive Code of Conduct on Reporting.