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Equality for women “an unstoppable tide of change”

Greater equality for women in the media is “an unstoppable tide of change”, according to the Secretary General of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), Dr Javad Mottaghi.

Welcoming delegates to a forum Women with the Wave at the ABU’s 49th General Assembly in Korea, Dr Mottaghi said empowering women was the morally right thing to do and “it makes sense to fully use the talents of men and women at a critical time for the media in our region and around the world”. 

He said there was evidence Asian and Pacific societies were changing for women, “one half of the world’s population which has been held back by forces such as limited educational opportunities, fear of competition and ignorance in some societies”. 

“We in the media are changing too and this forum is part of what I sincerely hope will be an unstoppable tide of change.

“We meet together to share our experiences and expertise and to consider what needs to be done to ride that wave successfully towards a future where women and men are treated equally in our industry and – through our programs – in our societies.”

More than 700 senior broadcasters, regulators, industry leaders and associated professionals are attending a week of events culminating in the General Assembly itself on 16 & 17 October.

The Women with the Wave forum is taking place over two days in the 63 Convention Center in Seoul and one of the highlights of the first day was speech by Academy Award-winning actor Gina Davis, who spoke about her experiences in a career that had led her to fighting for women and girls to be seen on TV and in film in powerful and meaningful roles. 

Ms Davis, who is United Nations Special Envoy for Women and Girls in the field of technology, told the forum: “If you can see it, you can be it”.

Another speaker, Dr Eun-Ju Kim, Regional Director for the International Telecommunication Union, said the ITU was focusing its efforts this year on women and girls, “using the power of ICTs to provide new digital opportunities to end discrimination as well as empower women and girls to achieve their rightful place as equals in the world. 

She said: “This effort with ICTs must begin not only from the cradle but also from health-care and education to entrepreneurship and new business opportunities, so every mother, every girl and every woman is guaranteed her birthright.”