The attainment of gender equality is a basic democratic demand, whereby
the media play a key role as a public forum, as a conveyer of information,
and as a champion of freedom of opinion. Media policy which is fair to
women can help bring about a fundamental change in the way a society thinks.
By drawing upon the entire range of available project instruments, the
following starting points become apparent:
"classical media promotion" through greater professionalism of women in media, drawing upon more intensive counseling and training measures as well as programs with internships.
"socio-political media activities", to ensure that the media contribute to the image of women as decisive partners in development. To this end, journalists and program managers in all branches must be sensitized and motivated to treat women's concerns as important political and societal issues.
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Media Project in
In India media play an important role in the comprehensive
program of promotion of women. An affirmative media policy is only possible
once a concrete analysis of the discriminatory portrayal of women in the
Indian media helps define messures to reduce prejudice and enhance their
Following the main objective "Introducing an Affirmative Media Policy", in 1993 representatives of the government, media professionals, and media action groups cooperated in the elaboration of the following guidelines:
Sensitizing Media Professionals to Women-Related Issues
Of prime importance were the publications "A Pressing Matter", an analysis of the portrayal of women in the print media, and a handbook on existing material in this area including a variety of positive portrayals of women and institutions with experience in the field, such as journalists and filmmakers. Through financial support for a seminar, graduates of a renowned school of journalism were also made aware of the problems in this area.
Creating Non-Discriminatory Media Policies
Through regional and national conferences and workshops in cooperation with the National Commission for Women, the Ministry of Information, and working groups in the media, it was possible to work out and discuss ways to improve the legal and political environment for a less discriminatory media. Working groups in the media were also given a chance to initiate contact with relevant institutions.
Applied Educational Media for NGO's and other Institutions
Audio-visual materials are especially important for the training activities of NGO's, as they are usually aimed at members of lower social strata, who may be totally or functionally illiterate. Most NGO's have little experience with the wide array of media currently available, and may therefore underestimate their application value. In cooperation with the partner organization JANVIKAS, legal counseling materials for women were developed in the regional vernacular, which were also made available in video form to other NGO's.
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