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Global gender forum a step forward for equality

The campaign for gender equality in the world’s media will take a step forward when Asia hosts the first ever Global Forum on Media and Gender next week.

Founding partner ABU will join more than 400 representatives from broadcast and print media, journalist unions, universities and journalism training institutions, civil society groups, governments and development agencies who will gather in Bangkok from 2-4 December 2013.

Organisers at UNESCO say the GFMG will provide an unprecedented opportunity for these groups to discuss and debate the factors perpetuating gender inequality in the media. It will also spotlight localised successes in empowering women through media, with the focus on capitalising on this momentum for wider, more impactful change.

A UNESCO spokesperson says: “The first ever Global Forum on Media and Gender aims to lay the foundation for an international alliance dedicated to righting this imbalance by combating gender stereotypes and ensuring women have a say at the top level of media operations.”

The ABU is founding partner of the forum and Secretary-General Dr Javad Mottaghi says the Union will actively participate, sharing ABU experiences in gender mainstreaming in broadcasting in the Asia-Pacific.

The GFMG follows up on the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action adopted at the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995, which stressed the need for women to have increased access to expression and decision-making through media and for an end to gender stereotyping.

UNESCO says results from the Bangkok forum will feed into the next planned Global Conference on Women, which the United Nations plans to hold in 2015.

“It will kick off a wider global movement in the form of the Global Alliance for Media and Gender, which will be linked to events around occasions such as World Radio Day and Women Make the News 2014,” the spokesperson says.