Improving gender equality and portrayals in the media worldwide will depend on our ability to cooperate and collaborate between countries and regions, including through coordination on emerging research and effective education. The UNESCO UNITWIN University Network on Gender, Media and ICTs, which held its first global meeting at RMIT University Europe in Barcelona, Spain from 25-28 April, 2017, is on the frontlines in promoting such global-level initiatives.
The Network brings together 19 Universities from around the world to promote gender equality in and through media on a global scale through research, education and participation.
This first event included a three-day intensive planning meeting and a day of public engagement on the fourth day, to discuss solutions for gender equality with the participation of such organisations as the the European Research Council, the Union for the Mediterranean, the European Women’s Audiovisual Network (EWA), the Global Alliance on Media and Gender (GAMAG), along with academics, students and journalists.
The public session was opened with a message from Mirta Lourenço, Chief of the Section for Media Development and Society at UNESCO, who said that ‘‘UNESCO values this Network very much because it brings together researchers, teachers and administrators from different universities, from different countries.” She described the Network as engaging in ‘‘a major dialogue beyond borders’’ to provide important data for decision-making and policy advocacy.
The panel discussed the Network’s focus on research, educational initiatives, policy and advocacy initiatives, partnerships for education and industry engagement. The Network will also be working alongside UNESCO to promote and implement the Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media, which provides a framework for gender equality in media operations and in the ways that gender is portrayed in media content.
Guest Speakers at the public session included Delphine Borione, Senior Deputy Secretary-General at The Union for the Mediterranean, who presented some of the work of the Union for women’s socio-economic empowerment, one of their priority areas with grants for 15 countries in the Mediterranean.
The UNESCO UNITWIN Network on Gender, Media and ICTs initiative was launched by UNESCO in 2016, and is co-chaired by The National Autonomous University of Mexico and RMIT University, Australia. It connects a wide range of countries, including Australia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ethiopia, France, Italy, Mexico, Namibia, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Photos from the event
More information: UNESCO UNITWIN University Network on Gender, Media and ICTs