WACC call to take part in UNESCO’s “Women Make the News” campaign
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WACC call to take part in UNESCO’s “Women Make the News” campaign

In celebration of International Women’s Day, 8 March 2013, the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) is calling on its members and networks to participate in UNESCO’s Women Make the News campaign.

The theme of International Women’s Day (IWD) 2013 is “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women.” It aims to strengthen the international community’s commitment to putting an end to violence against women.

As part of a UN-led effort, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s launched the UNiTE campaign, pressing all governments, civil society, women’s organizations, men, young people, the private sector, the media and the entire UN system to join forces in addressing this global pandemic.

 “There is one universal truth, applicable to all countries, cultures and communities: violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable,” said Ban Ki-moon.

Many media enterprises have picked up this challenge. In the United Kingdom, The Guardian newspaper, a staunch defender of human rights, has today published a survey of women’s voices from around the world addressing the following questions.

What does ending gender-based violence mean to people around the world? As politicians, NGOs, activists and others meet in New York for the UN Commission on the Status of Women, we’ve asked people what they think. What are you doing to tackle violence and discrimination against women? What can world leaders do? And what needs to be done at the grassroots?

This year’s IWD theme is related to an initiative being organized to take place in November 2013. The first Global Forum on Media and Gender will be organized by UNESCO, UN Women, and media and NGO partners globally. It will be an important follow-up to one of the critical areas of concern of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, “Women and the Media Diagnosis”, and its strategic objectives.

UNESCO intends to draw attention to the need for global measures, including media partnerships, to follow-up on the gender and media objectives of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

Meanwhile, the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) believes that any advance in women’s rights requires a parallel advance in communication rights – those basic human rights that invoke spaces and resources in the public sphere for everyone to engage in transparent, informed and democratic debate.

In a Call to Action issued today, WACC is asking its members, partners and networks to share their visions for a global alliance on gender and media, drawing lessons from partnership experiences in media monitoring, critical media literacy, civil society-media dialogues and gender-focused initiatives.

WACC’s General Secretary, Rev. Dr. Karin Achtelstetter said, “Gender justice and gender equality depend upon implementing the communication rights of women at all levels. Those working in mass and community media, and those using today’s social media, all have a vital role to play.”

See WACC’s Call for Action in English, French and Spanish.

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