In the world of globalisation, women should not be left aside. Activists are calling for gender equality. This call has also been made at the Global media forum (GMF) in Bonn, germany. This edition, June 19-21, highly stressed on « identity and diversity ».

Ines Pohl, editor-in-chief of Deutsche Welle, stressed that « the special rights the media have and the special access to information come with the duty to make it clear in the stories we tell that ‘all human beings are equal’ – again and again.« 

She said this when addressing the issue during a panel session hosted by the network Gender@International Bonn, focused on the challenges of gender-transformative journalism in the « post-truth » world and explored its capacity to help build a more peaceful, just and inclusive society.

Carmen Perez, national co-chair of the U.S. « Women’s March » initiative, emphasized that « we need both mainstream media and social media to support gender equality, » adding, « a lot of people still rely on the former when it comes to getting their information. So we need to be fluid and be in both spaces. And we also need to be recording and reporting our stories in real-time in both places. One cannot replace the other. »

« Media is one of the most crucial social tools at our disposal, able to transform the gender landscape by empowering women through advocacy, building stronger relations and changing the structures of power, » said Albana Shala, chairperson of UNESCO International Programme for the Development of Communication. « We need to establish coalitions with influential editors and managers who will be the champions of gender equality in and through media.« 

For Catherine Nyambura, Regional Program Advocacy Associate of FEMNET from Kenya, the ever-growing importance of new media cannot be emphasized enough: « Social and digital media offer an opportunity to amplify voices at a time when the backlash and pushback on gender equality and women’s empowerment in real and civic space in many countries is getting worse. We recognize that social media offers a platform for solidarity and concerted efforts – especially now when resources are limited.« 

Michelle Demishevich, a transgender journalist from Turkey, raised the issue of discrimination against the LGBTI community in her home country, especially in the media industry. She urged international media to give a voice to those who are oppressed in Turkey for no other reason than their gender identity.

Voltic Togo