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UNESCO’s 2012 Women make the news campaign focuses on rural women

UNESCO marks the 2012 International Women’s Day with the start of Women make the news campaign, which this year is promoting rural women’s access to media and information.

The campaign seeks to underscore and stimulate knowledge exchange on: the importance of policies in favour of access to media and information in rural communities, particularly for women; and good practices undertaken by public service broadcasters, commercial and community media, and NGOs.

Launching the Rural women’s access to media and information initiative, the Director-General of UNESCO Ms Irina Bokova emphasized that “In studies of progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, rural women fare consistently worse than rural men, as well as urban women and men, on every indicator for which there is data. Women make up two thirds of the world’s 796 million illiterate people, many of whom live in rural areas”.

Women make the news is a policy advocacy initiative launched annually in commemoration of the International Women’s Day – March 8. It is part of UNESCO’s strategy to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in and through media.

Women Make the News aims to emphasize that the issue of gender equality must remain at the forefront of each society’s agenda and the international community until gender balance is achieved at every level in the workplace. The initiative has two goals: to promote gender equality in media operations, at all levels of their organizational structure; and to ensure equality in news reporting on men and women.

Annually, UNESCO and its partners invite print and broadcast media, as well as NGOs working in the field of gender and media, to debate a particular theme, to share their features, articles, interviews, and TV and radio programmes dedicated to the year’s theme. Editors-in-chief of newspapers, radio, television, both online and offline, are also invited to join UNESCO’s initiative by producing special programmes on this topic and entrusting women journalists with editorial responsibility for the newsroom on International Women’s Day or over the duration of the WMN campaign.

Learn about the 13 ways to participate by visiting