UNESCO Gender Sensitive Indicators for Media discussed in Mongolia

The localization of the UNalternativeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeESCO’s “Gender Sensitive Indicators for Media” (GSIM) in Mongolian was discussed at a consultative meeting in Ulaanbaatar on June 27, 2014. The meeting was organized by the Mongolian Globe International Center (GIC) in cooperation with the National Committee on Gender Equality (NCGE) and the Association of Mongolian Journalists (AMJ), and with the support from a project by the UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) aiming to pilot the Indicators and promote media self-regulation in Mongolia, with the goal to increase media professionalism and gender equality in the country.

The consultative meeting was attended by more than forty stakeholders, including NCGE, AMJ, as well as NGOs such as MONFEMNET, National Center against Violence, Center for Human Rights and Development, Youth Watch for Policy, Princess Center, Union Arular for Kazakh Women, Mongolian Men for Development, LGBT Centre, Press Institute, and the Environment and Civil Council. Media professionals and trainers also joined the discussion including professors from Otgontenger University’s School of Journalism and the University of Education, scholars from the Institute of Radio and Television and University of the Humanities, the Research Center IRIM, as well as journalists and media representatives from Ulaanbaatar and thirteen provinces (aimags).  

Mr. B. Galaarid, President of the AMJ, introduced the aims, targets and application of the UNESCO’s GSIM and called attention to the importance of gender issues in the Mongolian media.  According to a recent AMJ’s survey, female employment rate in the media is about 65 per cent, whereas women students from journalism universities account for over 80 per cent, noted Mr. Galaarid. However, gender sensitive reporting is of course not just about the percentage of female reporters, and gender-awareness is indispensable for all media professional.

Mrs. M.Bolormaa, Secretary-General of NCGE, introduced the Gender Equality Policy in Mongolia, as well as the Government’s mid-term strategy on gender equality being implemented until 2016. She proposed that the recently-established pilot Media Council which is seeking to introduce media self-regulation in the Mongolia, could also work to increase gender sensitivity of the media organizations, especially at the decision making level and to build capacity of journalists on the related issues, involving newspaper, television and website associations.  Ms. Bolormaa also noted that “media is powerful tool… all your words are being transmitted directly to the people…so you have to be highly responsible. As I observed, in our society the journalists run after sensational news and cover issues from their own perspective. So the journalists have to start changes within themselves.

The President of GIC, Ms. Naranjargal, introduced the GSIM concept, as well as how to work with these indicators and how to tailor them to the Mongolian media sector. She highlighted that gender equality brings harmony to the society; it is the issue of integration of the voices of women and men for sustainable development.

The participants were then divided into five groups to discuss the GSIM based on the categories and to identify modalities for their adaptation to the Mongolian media context. The meeting concluded with the consensus that UNESCO’s GSIM correspond to the Mongolian media environment and are very important to be piloted. The participants also provided recommendations for the development of a pilot strategy including the selection of media organizations, which will test the GSIM is the way also to increase their reputation and credibility and reach new level in policy and management. The roles of NCGE and CSOs in the pilot process were also discussed.

The consultation meeting was also the occasion to launch the translation of the GSIM publication into Mongolian, also supported by the IPDC project. 

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