Emerson College, Boston, USA, hosted the Global Gender Advocacy Workshop on 16 and 17 October 2019, focusing on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their connection to gender equality.
This international event addressed an array of issues: Gender and Institutional Legitimacy, Institutional Equity & Closing Global Gender Gaps, Gender & Leadership, and Combatting Marginality.
Minna Horowitz of Cordi presented an overview of gender and media policies and their relation to the debates on communication rights in the UN context. The focus was on the need to revitalize global debates about gender, media and communication technologies – and related policies:
In 1995, the Fourth UN World Conference on Women resulted in the so-called Beijing Platform that laid out two Strategic Objectives: To increase the participation and access of women to expression and decision-making in and through the media and new technologies of communication, and to promote a balanced and non-stereotyped portrayal of women in the media.
In the past decade, digital communication has taken a central role in most facets of citizens’ everyday lives, globally. The rules through which digital spaces and new technologies are regulated have become an increasingly important topic also within the UN community. However, 25 years after the Beijing Platform the debates and policy interventions around gender equality and the media have lost their prominence.
Gendering global media policy and digital rights debates are crucial for the advancement of gender equality. Communication and digital tools — from awareness-raising campaigns to news coverage of politics to mobile banking — all matter for SDGs, and for gender equality, directly and indirectly. We need to start to take old and new challenges of the media and digital communications seriously, again.