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Empowering Women through Traditional and Emerging Media


April 2006 Buenos Aires. International Online Strategy. 8 ... April 2006 Buenos Aires. International Online Strategy. 9. April 2006 Buenos Aires ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Empowering Women through Traditional and Emerging Media

Empowering Women through Traditional and Emerging
Media Panel Chair Peri Shamsai Panel Members
Lori Post, Diane Butts, Julia Wilson Friday 8
June 2007
Media is increasingly being recognized as a
critical arena for promoting gender equity
  • The first 3 UN conferences on women from 1975-85
    barely mentioned media
  • 1995 Beijing Platform for Action on Women in
    Media was the first UN conference on women to
    emphasize Media as a key area for promoting
    gender equity
  • 2000 review of the implementation of the Beijing
    Declarations and Platform for Action
  • Information Communication Technologies (ICTs)
    was called out as a major area of focus for
    empowering women
  • WFEO conference has followed suit in including a
    panel on media in its Women and Technology
  • The media discussed include
  • Traditional Media, which focus on TV, radio,
    newspapers, music and film
  • Emerging Media, including Internet and Mobile

Note The views presented in the panel are those
of the panel participants and do not represent
the views of their institutions of affiliation.
Examinations of gender roles in traditional media
have focused on three key areas
  • Womens employment in media industries
  • While data is difficult to obtain, it appears as
    though women have made little progress in this
  • Women represent a paltry 3 of the senior media
    workforce globally
  • The EU and US have higher female employment in
    the media industries, representing 9 and 12
  • These numbers are significantly below womens
    employment in Fortune 500 companies, which tend
    to range around 161

Women in Traditional Media Workforce2
1Catalyst (2005) 2Margaret Gallagher, Women,
Media and Democratic Society UN-DAW (2002) and
The Annenberg Public Policy Center (2001)
The two other arenas of traditional media
analysis also show few signs of improvement
Women as News Subjects Globally
  • Womens under-representation in media
  • The Global Media Monitoring Project surveyed
    womens representation in news globally
  • Found that women have grown only marginally from
    17 of news subjects to 21 between 1995 and 2005
  • Negative stereotyping of women in the media
  • Depictions of women in the news media globally
    tend to focus on their status as celebrities and
    their negative roles in legal or social events,
    rather than focusing on their contributions to
    politics government

Women News Subjects Globally
Source Global Media Monitoring Project (2006)
This treatment of women is out-of-sync with real
progress women have made in politics
  • Womens parliamentary representation has grown
  • Womens representation in parliaments globally
    has grown from 3 in 1945 to over 15 by the
    January 2004 elections
  • But senior leadership positions are far fewer2
  • Out of 180 countries, 14 are head-ed by women 6
    women are Vice Presidents
  • With 49 of seats won by women in the recent
    parliamentary elections Rwanda became the country
    that has the most number of women
    parliamentarians in the world (No 2 women in
    Sweden hold 45)

Women in Parliaments Globally1
CAGR 6.88
1Facts and Figures on Womens Participation in
Politics, Governance, and Decision-Making, Online
Women in Politics (2002) and Women Elected in
2003 The Year in Perspective (Jan 2004) 2Womens
Learning Partnership (2002)
In contrast to traditional media, emerging media
show little gender gap
Gender Gap in Global Internet Use1
  • The Digital Future Report shows that the gap has
    been decreasing globally from 7.5 in 2000 to
    2.5 in 2003
  • The World Internet Project docu-mented a larger
    average gap of 8 in 2003
  • This gap varies widely by region with the US
    averaging only a 4 gap and Southern Europe
    averaging nearly a 15 gap
  • Mobile penetration rates in developing countries
    tends to be higher than Internet access rates
  • Emerging media are offering new forms of economic
    empowerment for women by providing cheaper,
    faster easier access to consumers businesses
    (i.e., C2C, B2C B2B)

Gender Gap in Internet Use by Region2
1The Digital Future Report Surveying the Digital
Future Year Four (USC Annenberg School,
2004) 2World Internet Project (UCLA Center for
Communication Policy, 2002-2003). Countries
included Britain, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan,
Korea, Macao, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan
and the US with age ranges from 12-80.
Todays panel will explore these areas of new
opportunities opening up for women in media
  • What are some of the major gender trends in
    traditional and emerging media?
  • How are these developments being used to empower
  • What can women do to further promote positive
    images of women throughout all media forms?

Todays panelists represent leaders in both
traditional emerging technologies
  • Julia Wilson, President Founder of Wilson
    Global Communications (WGC)
  • Ran WGC from Johannesburg and Accra, Ghana for
    five years
  • Creator, executive producer and host of On the
    Continent, an international television program
    focusing on progress and development in Africa
  • Produced marketing campaigns run special events
    for African dignitaries and major corporations,
    including Coke, AREVA TD, First Lady Senator
    Hilary Rodham Clinton the President of Liberia
    Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
  • Diane Butts, Head of Africa Division Television
    Voice of America
  • Spent more than 15 years producing TV programming
    for viewers in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Areas of focus include politics, health (e.g.,
    HIV/AIDS), human rights, gender equality gender
  • Work emphasizes the changing roles of women in
    Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Lori Post, Michigan State University
  • Assistant Dean for Research in the College of
    Communication Arts Sciences
  • Assistant Prof. in the Dept. of
    Telecommunication, Information Studies Media
  • Areas of research include technology and gender
    studies, with a regional specialization on Africa
  • Advisor to city, state federal organizations to
    reduce violence against women
  • Secured gt 15M for research on the impact of
    technology to improve public health and violence
    against women.

Question 1a What are some of the major gender
trends in traditional media?
  • Julia
  • Women are increasingly becoming decision-makers
    and socially empowered with political authority
    in government, private industry and media
  • The number of women in politics has grown in
    recent years, they are still under-represented
    and face innumerable obstacles to full
    participation. In 2006, less than 17 percent of
    parliamentarians were women, according to IPU,
    and elected women head only 13 of the worlds 194
    states and governments, as reported by the
    Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership.
  • Womens images in advertising are also starting
    to change (Advertising Educational Foundation)
  • Women journalists are also taking up the cause,
    becoming more pervasive in print and behind and
    in front of the cameras
  • 35 newsrooms are women 17 are minority women
    (American Society of Newspaper Editors)
  • 20 of radio news directors are women (Radio TV
    News Directors Association)
  • Contributing factors include education,
    economics, changing images of women, increased
    networking and demographics

Question 1a What are some of the major gender
trends in traditional media?
  • Diane
  • The US is starting to see signs of progress
  • TV Number of female-centered dramas increased
    from 8 shows in the 70s 80s to 37 dramas in
    2000 (Media Report to Women)
  • News Women were just 14 of guests on Sunday
    morning political talk shows in 2005, which is a
    3 increase from 2001
  • Entertainment Women accounted for 40 of all
    characters in 2005-2006
  • However, Hip Hop, Reality TV and
    fashion-dominated depictions of women still
    pervasively reinforce negative gender stereotypes
  • Africa has been slow to follow (UNESCO sponsored
    Media for Equality Portrayal of Women in
    Southern African Media, 2004)
  • Radio stations have 9 women out of 50 people
  • Of 180 programs broadcast each week, 12 are about
  • Women constitute only 19 of news sources in
    South Africa (South African Gender Media
    Audience Study, 2002)
  • Top Women Gender Headlines also tend to focus
    on negative portrayals of women (see Appendix for

Question 1b What are some of the major gender
trends in emerging media?
  • Diane
  • Emerging media is increasingly becoming an arena
    of progress, particularly throughout Africa
  • Mobile subscribers have increased more than 1000
    between 1998 and 2003, reaching 51.8M and
    amounting to over double the number of fixed-line
  • 30 African countries have more mobile than
    fixed-line customers (BBC, 2003)
  • Kenya is the fastest growing mobile market in the
  • However, landline telephone penetration
    internet access remains far behind the rest of
    the world

Question 1b What are some of the major gender
trends in emerging media?
  • Lori
  • There are two critical areas impacted by emerging
  • The dissemination, distribution, consumption and
    use of information has dramatically increased due
    to emerging media
  • The economic benefits of emerging media are vast
  • However, there is a great Global Digital Divide
  • Disparities in access to the Internet
  • But the great African success story is Mobile
  • In 2004, Africa added 15M new cell subscribers to
    their base
  • Over the past 10 years, the number of landlines
    per 100 population has stagnated with 3.1 per 100
  • The average annual growth rate of mobile
    subscribers is 82.3 vs. 55 for the Americas
  • Creative business models, such as pre-paid plans,
    are better suited for the African market

Source Vanessa Gray (2006) The un-wired
continent Africas mobile success story.
International Telecommunication Union
Question 2 In what ways have these developments
been used to empower women?
  • Lori
  • African men tend to have greater access to
    emerging media than African women
  • Exceptions Gambia, Sao Tome de Principe and Cape
  • Emerging media provide access to a variety of
    economic levers
  • Marketing
  • Reaching customers
  • Information sharing that improves business
  • Through these channels, women have the
    opportunity to
  • Increase their incomes
  • Reduce dependency on men
  • Increase family welfare
  • Contribute to local development
  • Increased communication connectedness across
    disparate communities
  • Some case studies include
  • Uganda farmers sharing crop prices
  • South African medical SMS reminders
  • Tanzanian small business owners save on travel
    time money
  • Improved earnings in 62 of South African small

Question 3 What can women do to further promote
positive images throughout all media?
  • Lori
  • Women must influence the production and
    consumption of media
  • Women can encourage positive images of themselves
    through new media
  • Guaranteed access to affordable ICT
  • ICT infrastructure and services
  • ICT training
  • Develop ICT-based programs that meet womens
  • E.g., literacy programs, business planning
    courses, health information and services, access
    to market trading information and e-Commerce
  • Julia
  • In light of demographic changes
  • Develop skills
  • Create partnerships with men
  • Promote positive stories about women
  • Mentor women
  • Diane
  • Regional womens media umbrellas (e.g., African
    Womens Media Center and the Federation of
    African Media Women) have been arranged to
    promote positive images of women
  • Advocate fair gender policies
  • Promote a conducive regulatory environment
  • Must also produce more positive programming about
    and for women

  • While traditional media has afforded varying
    levels of improved gender equality in its
    employment and representation of women, emerging
    media provides a beacon of hope
  • Emerging media has provided greater access to
    information and services to women around the
  • This greater access has in turn led to increased
    economic opportunities, as well as increased
    access to critical information in such areas as
    health, education, and legislation
  • Going forward, women can further promote such
    positive trends in media through a variety of
  • For those who work in media, promote positive
    images of women
  • As consumers of media, use your time and money to
    support positive images
  • As entrepreneurs, leverage emerging media
    resources to your advantage to explore new arenas
    of economic advancement
  • Lastly, use these emerging platforms to educate
    inform on womens issues

Top Women and Gender Headlines (AllAfrica.com,
May 2007)
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