WACC has been invited to be a "key partner" with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in preparing the Global Forum on Media and Gender, which is to take place from 2 to 4 December, 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand.
In a July 19 letter to WACC General Secretary the Rev. Dr. Karin Achtelstetter, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information Jānis Kārkliņš, who is based in Paris, notes that the forum is "a pioneering global event that intends to address gender equality and women’s empowerment in and through the media."
This will be done through: 1) enabling worldwide stock taking and debate, including challenges faced by international, regional and national programmes on gender and media; 2) providing training and encourage the sharing of experiences; and 3) hosting a high level session during the forum which will design the Global Alliance.
The event will also contribute to achieving Millennium Development Goal 3 - promoting gender equality and empowering women.
WACC is being asked to be a member of an international/regional committee that will help to rally the primary stakeholders, co-organise joint sessions with UNESCO that are relevant to WACC's mandate, and mobilise resources where possible and necessary to support regional representation.
WACC is also being asked to be involved in relevant regional caucuses during the forum to start discussion about regional chapters of the Global Alliance and to contribute to appointing international/regional representatives who will participate in the high level session.
Achtelstetter commented that “the invitation reflects WACC’s overall and long-standing commitment to UNESCO and its programs. I hope that WACC, especially through its Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP), can make a special contribution to this initiative." She also said she hopes that Toronto-based WACC's participation in the Global Forum will also contribute to the Global Conference on Women, to be organized by the U. N. in 2015, and to the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals agenda.
WACC plans to invite some of its network partners to be involved in the Global Forum, Achtelstetter said, and is exploring organizing a session or workshop along these lines.
A key result of the forum, writes Kārkliņš, will be the establishment of a Global Alliance on Media and Gender which will coordinate systematic follow-up to one of the critical areas of concern of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, "Women and the Media Diagnosis."