Role of the Media in Advancing Gender Equality, Accountability and Good Governance
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. This right includes freedom to hold opinion without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
- Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The media plays a profoundly important role in defining the role of engaged citizenship, changing stereotypes about women and men and the way in which national and global security issues are defined. This session will focus on the transformative potential of the media to change stereotypical paradigms, transform conversations about men and women in public service, and create gender sensitivity in reporting on issues of democratic governance, human rights, and humanitarian crisis that concern both men, and women.
9:00 – 11:00 a.m. Panel Discussion with Media Experts
Honorable Farahnaz Ispahani – Member of Parliament, Pakistan; Member Standing Committee on Human Rights, Foreign Affairs, Advisor- Co Chair Pakistan People’s Party, Media Advisor to President Zardari, President of Pakistan.
Melissa Ludtke – Executive Editor, The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, Brandeis University
Pat Drew - Owner at Pat Drew & Co. Former Director, LifeSkills Program at The New York Times Company
Carla Robbins – Deputy editorial page editor of New York Times. Robbins shared in two Pulitzer Prizes.
Moderator: Lynn Sherr, Award winning correspondent for the ABC news magazine 20/20
|Some Questions for the Moderator:
11:00 – 12:00 p.m. Participants will break into small groups and discuss following roleplaying scenarios.
Refer to Materials in session 7 (1)
Potential Candidate: Press conference to announce that you have decided to run for office. Define the issues you stand for.
Press: What are the questions you will ask the candidate?
Head of Civic Organization: Call a press conference to speak out against a horrific incidence of violence against women post revolution or before elections. This could include virginity testing or sexual abuse.
Press: How will you report this incident?
The Libyan Women’s Movement has called for a press conference calling for 30 percent seats for women in parliament. They argue that women form 51 percent in the country and protested alongside of their men in bringing about the recent change in Libya. What are the arguments you will make for more women in decision making roles.
Press: What information do you need?
You are speaking at a press conference for more women in Constitutional Drafting and Transitional Justice Processes. What arguments will you make?
Press: What questions will you ask? What is your response? The press can ask hard questions in order to challenge speakers’ arguments and elicit the most effective response.
Ministry of Defense: Role play a training program for women in public service on how to use the media to bolster their message. Trainers: What are the talking points you will need to provide the media? How will you avoid reinforcing gender stereotypes? How will you draw on the impact of women in public service in political, social and economic development in your community?
Trainees: Polish your message with the help of the trainers
12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Lunch Brackett Reading Room (Library)
Delegates will perform their roleplaying/ simulations at lunch. Moderated by two delegate
1:30 – 5:30 p.m. Afternoon Session
The Transformative Potential of Social Media: Strengthening Women’s Empowerment and Good Governance
Has the shift in the balance of power from nation-states to individuals and from media institutions to citizen journalists through social media had a transformative impact on women’s empowerment? Has the rise of social media led to a democratization of power and politics? There has been research done on the feminization of social media but very little on the transformative potential of social media on women’s empowerment. Social media has helped to blur the distinction between the public and private and thus has potential to make visible in the public sphere hitherto private acts of violence and subordination.
|Some case studies examined in the materials include: Harassmap Egypt is a social media project that utilizes open-source mapping technology to allow women to report incidents of sexual harassment and abuse by sending a text message marking immediately the place where the abuse is taking place.
Women 2Drive- Saudi Arabia
Social media can be a powerful space and a platform for women not only to bear witness to events but it can be an alternative space to rewrite women’s narratives. The Twitter and Facebook campaign in Saudi Arabia on Women2Drive is another critical example of how social media can literally help drive women’s empowerment.
1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Social Media Demonstration and Panel Discussion:
Amy Tennison, Dell will lead demonstration
Discussion led by Panagiotis Takis Metaxas – Professor of Computer Science and Founder of the Media Arts and Sciences Program at Wellesley College
Some Questions for Moderator:
- How can new media best be leveraged to help build peace and prevent conflict?
- How is social media developing novel approaches to overcome violence and build a sustainable peace?
- How are citizen journalists holding governments accountable, filling in information gaps and protesting violence?
- What are the challenges of the social media revolution?
2:30 – 4:30 p.m. Delegates break into groups and design the following based on a cause driven issue:
Refer to materials session 7 (1)
Group One: Create Youtube video for the network
Group Two: Create Facebook for the network
Group Three: Create Twitter for the network
Group Four: Create a blog for the Network
Group Five: Create a Website (preliminary thoughts)
4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Each Group will make a presentation of the project
6:00 p.m. Dinner College Club
Dinner Movie and Discussion – Miss Representation
Moderator: Jean Kilbourne
Featured in the movie and recognized for her groundbreaking work on the representation of gender in the media.