Focusing on Gender Can Make A Difference in Broadcasting

Across the range of current and emerging media, organisations and individuals within the Asia-Pacific region need to consider and reflect the diversity of their communities and audiences by providing inclusive and accessible content and services, by and for women and men.

 There is a greater awareness of gender inequalities and discrimination and an increasing presence of women in the media which has mediated a change, with the inclusion of women as experts, greater sensitivity in language and contextualising the issues within the framework of human rights. However, there is a need for more consistency across programmes, genres and the workforce. Achievements have been made in political commitments but their implementation has been uneven in the media due to the lack of guidelines, training and monitoring systems.

 The media in the Asia-Pacific region can set the agenda and implement a more balanced representation of men and women to achieve gender equality. By having a gender inclusive approach to employment – in recruitment, development and leadership – the full range of skills, attributes and views are brought to the workplace to enhance the business. Media organisations also benefit from a workplace that values all of its employees and provides a co-operative and harmonious environment that enables all to work to the best of their ability.

 When focusing on gender, it is widely recognised that the representation of women in the media has generally been lower across many occupational groups and in particular in decision-making roles, as newsmakers, as technical operators and as presenters. The content, when measured, has reflected less emphasis on women’s stories and views and has not always portrayed the range of issues and balance. Women’s perspectives can be enhanced by increasing their participation as sources, subjects, commentators and experts ... as examples.

 With a greater influence of online participation, the expansion of social media and increasing access and awareness by younger people, news, stories and programmes are shaped by a broader gender input with more relevant output of what can and should be delivered to audiences.

 These guidelines have brought together important and useful considerations and ideas that can support broadcasters as a roadmap towards a more gender-inclusive workforce, coverage and output – promoting a culture of opportunity – and a FOCUS ON GENDER.