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Counter-stereotypical narratives: A gain for stigma-free and inclusive media

Author: Olga Komarova | 29. February 2020

NGO Forum Parallel event at the United Nations 64th Commission on the Status of Women (NGO CSW64)

Date: March 13, 2020
Time: 12:30-14:00
Venue: Blue Room, 4 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036

On March 13th, 2020, join the GFMD Women in Media Working Group for a panel discussion on the effects of gender-equal reporting on the role of women in society. The event will explore how stigma-free reporting can alter the role of women in society, what the impact of gender-equal news media is on advancing the position of women at large, and how it can positively affect the business position of media organisations.

Media has the potential to play a major role, as both a problem and solution, in shaping perceptions and norms around gender equality. Media can often perpetuate gender stereotypes, for example, through the portrayal of women in stereotypical roles such as mothers or carers, or through negative representation of victims of gender-based violence. The panel will question exactly how this can happen while also exploring how media can be harnessed as a tool to combat this stereotyping and misrepresentation. Further, the panel will highlight issues of gender stereotyping in media, developing concrete takeaways for audiences on how to facilitate inclusive gender portrayals in and through media. Panelists will underscore the lack of universal ethical standards for gender sensitive guidelines regarding gender portrayal in the media, initiating necessary conversations on this subject going forward.

The event, co-organised by GFMD, CFI, Fondation Hirondelle, Free Press Unlimited, IMS, and Sembramedia, with support from Fojo Media Institute, is taking place as an NGO parallel event at the 64th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (NGO CSW64).

The discussion is taking place at 12:30 – 14:00 on March 13th at the Blue Room, 4 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036. The event is free to attend and entirely open to the public. More information about NGO CSW64 can be found here.


Joyce Barnathan (Moderator)

Joyce Barnathan is President of the International Center for Journalists. Previously, she served as the executive editor, Global Franchise, for BusinessWeek. She was also assistant managing editor, responsible for the magazine’s Finance, Economics, Investor, and Lifestyle departments. Prior to that, she completed a seven-year assignment as Asia regional editor and Hong Kong bureau manager for BusinessWeek. In addition to her reporting and writing duties, she helped launch the magazine’s Asian edition and managed its growing network of correspondents and stringers throughout the region. She is the winner of five Overseas Press Club Awards, including three as part of BusinessWeek’s Asia team, as well as the National Headliner Award.

Tidiani Togola

Tidiani Togola is the CEO and founder of Tuwindi, a non-profit civic-tech organisation that supports socio-economic development, good governance, democracy, and the rule of law in Africa through the use of ITC. Since 2010, Tidiani has been using digital technologies to strengthen democracy, governance, and media in Africa. He is strongly committed to promote gender equity and equality in media as well as supporting freedom of expression.

In partnership with Free Press Unlimited, Tuwindi is developing online tools for gender media monitoring, is implementing a multi-stakeholder project to label professional media on gender, independence, and professionalism (GIP) and is organising the yearly Mali Media Awards (MAMA), highlighting quality journalism made in Mali.

Dr. Emma Heywood

Dr. Emma Heywood is a lecturer in Journalism, Politics, and Communication at the Department of Journalism Studies, University of Sheffield. Emma’s research focuses on the role and impact of radio in conflict-affected areas. She has recently been awarded a large UKRI GCRF grant to investigate perceptions and representations of women’s rights and empowerment by radio in Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso. This builds on current work by the FemmePowermentAfrique project, which Emma leads. Part-funded by the Swedish development agency, this project assesses the impact of radio on women’s empowerment in Niger and Mali. Emma’s research interests lie in the role of radio in fragile and conflict-affected zones and she works closely with international media development agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and civil society organisations (CSOs).

Bochra Triki

Bochra Triki is a former French professor at the University of Tunis. Between 2015 and 2019, she served as the president of Chouf, a feminist and LBTQI association.  Bochra is one of the founders of Chouftouhonna, the Intenational Feminist Art Festival of Tunis. She is also involved in Shift, a Tunisian feminist graphic novels project.

As a method of documenting multiple voices, perspectives, and realities of our contemporary history, Bochra also produces online podcasts with Inkyfada, an independent non-profit media organisation based in Tunis. Her work focuses on documenting feminist and social thematics with artistic mediums, as a powerful tool for oppressed persons and communities.

María Florencia Alcaraz

María Florencia Alcaraz is a journalist, writer, and editor. In 2017, she co-founded LATFEM, a feminist digital media outlet based in Argentina. María Florencia is also a founding member of Ni Una Menos Argentina, a feminist movement which originated in Buenos Aires in 2015. The movement spread throughout Latin America, Europe, and Asia as a popular and peaceful protest aimed at preventing femicide.

Alcaraz is also a member of the International Network of Journalists with Gender Perspective (Red Internacional de Periodistas con Visión de Género). LATFEM has won multiple awards, including, PremioIDEA (from Planned Parenthood Global), Premio Lola Mora (Argentina), among other international recognitions. Alcaraz participates as a mentee in Metis, SembraMedia, and Google News Initiative mentorship program for women media founders in Latin America.

About the GFMD Women in Media Working Group

The GFMD Women in Media working group was launched in March 2018. The group consists of individuals from GFMD member organisations working on topics related to gender and diversity. The working group connects members through online meetings, creating a space within which those working on gender issues in media development can share experiences, knowledge, tools, and information about events, summits, and conferences, and coordinate advocacy initiatives. The resources developed and shared by members of the group have been compiled in GFMD’s Gender and Diversity Resource Centre. At present, the group has over 80 individual members, including those involved with the coordination of this NGO CSW parallel event.

For more information about the Women in Media group, contact jhiggins@gfmd.info.


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