Subject: [fem-women2000 92] Invitation to join the women-media virtual working group (fwd)
From: lalamaziwa <>
Date: Thu, 04 Nov 1999 13:41:31 +0900
Seq: 92

---------------- Original message follows ----------------
 From: j small <>
 Date: Wed, 03 Nov 1999 19:45:45 -0100

Please cross-post this message to others lists or individuals as you see fit.

jill small

-------- Original Message --------
              WOMEN AND THE MEDIA 

     November 8th - December 18th 1999

Dear Friends: 

You may have received, in the past few months, an invitation from
WomenWatch to join the Beijjing+5 Global Forum. These are a series of
working group discussions on Internet, created to provide input into
the review process of the United Nations.  

In 1995, the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women was held in
Beijing, China. 184 member nations adopted the Beijing Platform of
(BFPA), a document which analyses and prioritized issues and
recommendations till the year 2005. Of the 12 critical areas of concern,
one was Women and Media, or Section J as it was

Four years have passed since the BFPA was adopted. In the year 2000, two
events at the UN headquarters will serve as an opportunity to reflect on
the gains made, and challenges ahead. The CSW (Committee on the Status
Women) will meet in March and the Special Session of the UN General
Assembly will meet in June.

In preparation for this, WomenWatch is sponsoring, and Women Action 2000
facilitating, a "Virtual Working Group", looking at emerging issues in
women, communications and media, with a focus on the impact of
information and
communication technologies (ICTs).

The goal of the "Women and Media" Working Group is to discuss if the
objectives of the BPFA regarding women and media have been realized
and what still needs to be done. Has there been progress in portrayal
and position of women in media?  What are the emerging issues in the
area of communications? Can these be seen as obstacles or
opportunities for women?

1. Information and communication technologies (ICTs)

In the past decade, advances in information technology have
facilitated a global communications network that transcends national
boundaries impacting on public policy, private attitudes and behavior,
especially of children and young adults, but also providing
unprecedented communication opportunities to organizations and

Can women be empowered by enhancing their skills, knowledge and access
to information technology? Will this strengthen their ability to
combat negative portrayals of women and increase their presence in the
media internationally? Have women been involved in decision-making
regarding the development of the new technologies?  

Have women's organizations developed strategies to use communication
systems, including new technologies, as a means of strengthening
women's participation in democratic processes?  Are there example we
can cite?

2. Media policy and portrayal

More women are involved in careers in the communications sector, but
few have attained positions at the decision-making level or serve on
governing boards and bodies that influence media policy. 

Has the portrayal of women in electronic, print, visual and audio
changed?  Has the number of women in decision-making positons
increased and how has this affected the portrayal of women in media? 
Have there been advocacy efforts to monitor and work with media,
gender-sensitive training for media professionals, media owners and

Have governments and other stakeholders made effective efforts to
mainstream a gender perspective in policies and programs? How much has
women's participation in media increased?  Have there been efforts to
initiate training programs for women to produce information for the
mass media, using new technologies of communication?

3. Women's networks and media

The Beijing Platform underlines the importance of women's media and
networks in promoting debate, disseminating information and
facilitating the increased participation of women in communication.

What kinds of women's networks -- women's organizations and
professional media organizations exist?  Has there been research and
implementation of a strategy of information, education and
communication aimed at promoting a balanced portrayal of women and
girls and their multiple roles?

How are women's communication networks improving women's access to
information?  Have women's media networks been encouraged, including
cultural forms of indigenous peoples? What initiatives exist in areas
such as translation, repackaging, funding and technical assistance to
women locally so that they can participate more fully in global and
regional debates around development issues?

4. Freedom of expression and social responsibility of the media

There is a trend of increasing consolidation of large national and
transnational media corporations and fusion of telecommunications and
media, backed by powerful economic  interests.  There is a debate as
to whether these developments could be regulated by law or be

How does this trend affect the social responsibility of the media and
what is the impact on women's freedom of expression and access to
pluralistic information sources?  Is transnationalization of the media
leading to homogenization of cultures and how does this impact on the
portrayal and status of women?  What does it mean for the future of
community designed and controlled media forms?  Does commercialization
of media and the Internet mean women will be treated mainly as

Have women participated in the development of professional guidelines
and codes of conduct to promote balanced and non-stereotyped
portrayals of women by the media, or addressing violent, degrading or
pornographic materials, including advertising?

The discussion will be moderated by Jill Small and Karen Banks (APC
WNSP/Women Action 2000) and facilitated by Anita Anand and Sally Burch
Women Action 2000. The discussion will begin on November 8th and finish
December 18th 1999.


1. Send a message to (with a blank subject line):

2. Type the following in the first line of your message:

   subscribe women-media

3. If you have any difficulties, please write to the list owner:

The list owner email address is monitored by Karen Banks and Jill Small.

Sally Burch
Agencia Latinoamericana de Informacion - ALAI
Quito, Ecuador

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