UN Women to Bring Gender Equality to Newsrooms

UN Women launches Step it Up for Gender Equality Media Compact during 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). Photo: UN Women / Ryan Brown
UN Women launches Step it Up for Gender Equality Media Compact during 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). Photo: UN Women / Ryan Brown

The United Nations entity tasked with promoting gender equality has launched a partnership with leading media houses to galvanize attention and concrete action towards women’s rights within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The initiative, Step it Up for Gender Equality Media Compact, brings together a broad coalition of print, broadcast and online news media outlets from every region.

By signing up to the Compact, the outlets are committing to a range of concrete change actions: championing women’s rights and gender equality issues through editorial articles; ensuring inclusion of women as sources in stories produced, aiming for gender parity; adopting a gender-sensitive Code of Conduct on Reporting; and ensuring women journalists are provided mentors and guidance for career advancement.

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“Even when reporting is entirely factually accurate, if it is reported predominantly by men, about men, it is actually misrepresenting the real state of the world,” said UN Women executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka as she launched the Compact during a side event of the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the UN New York Headquarters.

“This level of support and leadership from media houses and newsrooms alike is what is needed to ensure that we can achieve gender equality and women’s rights by 2030,” she added.

Leading up to the launch event, more than 35 media outlets signed up as founding members of the Compact. The diverse group of initial members reach millions of readers and viewers in Africa, Arab States, Asia-Pacific, Europe and Latin American regions.

At the event, representatives of some founding members, including South African Broadcasting Corporation, Good Housekeeping and TV Azteca, underlined their commitment to push for gender equality in their news coverage and their newsrooms.

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Rakesh Raman