Journalism and gender equality
01. What is gender-sensitive journalism? /
By practising gender-sensitive journalism, we develop value-based media that change the world and challenge gender inequality.
Ensure that both men and women have an equal opportunity to speak.
Gender-sensitive journalism is all about striking a balance; gender equality in the handling of news means putting on “gender glasses” as it were, and ensuring that when delivering news or producing a programme, both men and women have an equal opportunity to speak.
Gender equality is actually a fundamental right, enshrined in most countries’ constitutions. It is also cited in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The news is capable of changing mentalities that hold back an entire society.
Because the news has such a great impact on human life, it is something that needs to be handled properly by professionals who know all about journalism and gender equality.
Why gender-sensitive journalism?
It has been observed that, although they play a fundamental role in modern society, the number of women seen in the media does not reflect their participation in society and in daily life.
Analysis of thousands of newspapers around the world shows that 80% of newsworthy topics concern men, and only 20% women. So journalists aren’t giving enough voice to women. When women do have their say, they are often cast in the role of victims or vulnerable targets, rarely experts.
Women, then, are still significantly under-represented and misrepresented in news media coverage.
The world that journalists describe in the news media remains largely masculine.
Subjects covered mostly highlight men and that’s the whole point of this series, made up of 15 episodes, each tackling a different theme. It will allow you to absorb a notion that over time will become second nature to you.
We will explain concepts related to Gender, and show you how to integrate gender into your everyday work; that’s to say in the gathering, processing, and distribution of news, and in any other radio or TV broadcast.
The first instinct of any gender-sensitive journalist is to pay close attention to the participation of women in the media.
It’s important to emphasise that gender equality demands close monitoring of the involvement and participation of women (it is very important to insist on this) in all areas of development, in both public and private spheres.
Journalists must be aware of the prejudices and stereotypes that surround the profession of women;
journalists must insist on gender, that’s to say involve both men and women in a range of journalistic formats, (interviews, vox pop, debates, reporting, special guests, etc).
Remember too that it is important to promote equal opportunities for both men and women in the journalistic profession, to facilitate training for women in journalism and encourage initiatives to raise the profile of women media professionals and promote their productions.
How are women and men represented in your media? How can you change the situation? That too is gender-sensitive journalism.
Journalists must not forget their moral responsibility to give the same opportunity to all sections of society to express themselves.
At the end of this training, you will have a better grasp of the concepts of gender equality, which will give you a good grasp of how to tackle gender in the production of your programmes, and consider the needs of both men and women.
Men and women.
The advantages of promoting gender equality in the media
are on three levels.
For an individual: preventing discrimination, feelings of injustice, demotivation, drop in the quality of work, depression, etc.
For the media: promoting greater diversity, multiplying points of view, improving editorial quality, greater representativeness, avoiding reproduction of stereotypes and inequalities.
For society: developing value-based media that change the world and challenge gender inequality.
In short, the concept of gender allows us to understand that the distribution of roles, tasks, and obligations is solely a result of our cultural, social, and religious practices. It is something that has been invented, manufactured by society. In no way is it the result of biological predispositions.
Gender helps us understand male-female interactions, and is a formidable means of analysing society. It also allows to understand where gender inequality comes from and how it is reproduced.
A CFI project in partnership with France Médias Monde