UN Women, Media Reinforce Partnership

The United Nations Agency ‘UN Women’ this morning held a special breakfast with members of various media units to discuss a way forward regarding UN Women’s efforts to strengthen partnership with the media.

UN Women is an agency for Gender Equality and the empowerment of women. The breakfast meeting is part of their efforts to strengthen their partnerships with the media in the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The event brought together editors and members from different media houses in Papua New Guinea.

Gender equality in PNG is doing poorly as there are high levels of gender-based violence which remains a challenge in the country and it is ranked 160 out of 162 in the gender equality index.

UN Women Country Representative, Themba Kalua in his remarks mentioned that 60 percent of women in PNG have experienced a form violence and that number is twice the global average. With the country going to polls next month and thousands contesting, women have also come up to vie for different leadership positions.

However, several factors continue to affect their active participation in political processes either as candidates or voters. Since independence in 1975, only seven women have been elected to the national parliament, while more than 900 men have passed through its doors.

This calls for specific measures to enable women to overcome the barriers of gender discrimination.

Mr Kalua said the UN Women see the media as a key ally in addressing gender discrimination and promoting equal participation of men and women in elections. This is due to its unique reach and ability to influence attitudes and shape social norms.

He made mention of the Beijing Platform for action, the most progressive blueprint ever for advancing women’s rights and as a defining framework for change. The Platform for Action made comprehensive commitments under 12 critical areas of concern.

Highlighted, was an area that calls on the media everywhere to make greater contribution towards the advancement of women. Since its inception 25 years ago, the Beijing Platform for action is as relevant today as it was in 1995.

The meeting was met with discussions regarding language barriers as well via media dissemination as not all populations in certain rural settings would understand the information delivered in English.

The idea of listening to young voices was also discussed and the need for a partnership to continue conversations surrounding women empowerment and gender equality.

Carol Kidu