The International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) is proud to be able to contribute in producing these important Guidelines, which build on the long-standing commitment and cooperation of AIBD and FES to support gender equality in the Asia- Pacific media.
IAWRT exists to unite professional media women working for gender equity in the media, a fairer treatment for women in broadcasting and a more honest portrayal of women and girls in radio, television and online. Our several hundred members around the world provide a unique professional resource we are happy to put to the service of the ongoing struggle for gender equity and the fight against the discrimination and exploitation of women and girls. One of IAWRT’s greatest strengths is being comprised of women journalists, documentary makers and program producers who have not only demonstrated their commitment to the principles of gender equity but are, importantly, showing how they work in practice.
The biennial IAWRT Awards for Excellence, sponsored along with many of our activities by the Norwegian women’s development agency FOKUS, showcase an impressive range of documentaries tackling issues of prejudice and oppression of women and girls. IAWRT also provides a network to support professional media women and others involved in the struggle around the world, providing vital support for women working on their own in sometimes oppressive circumstances to make a difference. The exchange of information crosses borders, cultures and all levels of social, economic and media development because gender inequality is a problem in nations of the North just as much as those of the South.
We must always keep in mind that gender inequality is a problem for both men and women. If, as we believe, gender equity is morally right, socially beneficial and economically efficient, then it follows that where it is not practiced men and women, boys and girls must suffer the damaging effects of bias and inequality. Although women such as our members fight daily battles over individual stories or employment practices, the greatest advances will obviously come through systemic changes at national and organisational levels when men as well as women take responsibility for ensuring that women’s stories are properly told and workplaces are open and fair for all genders.
This guide will play a vital role in demonstrating what can be done and that gender equity need not be frightening or destructive and will benefit men as well as women. Most importantly, it will be a resource for younger women now entering the struggle. If we are all firm in our commitment and practical in our achievements perhaps their daughters will not need it.