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Mass-media can do more and better for women in Moldova
La masa rotundă „Rolul mass-media în reflectarea participării femeilor în viaţa publică”
Foto: API

28 mass-media institutions [1] have endorsed the Commitment to promote the principle of gender equality in their journalistic materials, during the round table entitled „Mass-media’s role in covering women’s involvement in public life” organized on February 24, 2014, in Chisinau.

API and United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (UN Women) organized the round table with a view to discuss with journalists and representatives of the civil society and state structures about the importance of ensuring gender equality in Moldovan mass-media. The participants expressed their opinions about how journalists can change Moldovan realties in order to provide women with equal chances for taking part in the economic, social and political life of the country. This subject is extremely important, especially in the context of Parliamentary elections due in 2014, and given the significant role of mass-media institutions to promote the equal coverage of men and women in all electoral processes, including on the list of candidates.

Attending the event, Ingrid Tersman, Ambassador of Sweden in R. Moldova, stated that mass-media had possibilities and tools to fight the gender stereotypes: „The society needs mass-media in order to understand that men and women are equally important and should be covered in an equal manner, from the same positions, without any differentiation. This is a mission which mass-media should commit to”. Valentina Buliga, Minister of labour, social protection and family, and Corina Fusu, Deputy chairwomen of the Parliamentary Commission for mass-media, called upon the journalists to equally publicise men and women, including during the election campaign, contributing thus to the moral prosperity and health of the nation.

Journalists admit that they can do more to reduce the discrepancy between men’s and women’s coverage, but claim that women should be more attractive. Alina Radu, Director of investigative weekly newspaper „Ziarul de Gardă”: „As regards our newspaper, we have come up to the conclusion that the corruption phenomenon has a male face, and, for this reason, men are more likely to appear in the pages of our newspaper. However, we are trying to make the scales even, since equality is a right which has to be complied with”. Tatiana Cropanţeva, Editor-in-chief of newspaper „Trud 7 Moldova”: „We, as journalists, can do more for women. But women, as part of the society, can also do more for themselves. Journalists can and should teach them how to reveal themselves and become more attractive”. 

Alexei Buzu, Executive director of „Partnership for Development” Centre, presented statistical data confirming that the implementation of gender equality would influence life a lot, including the economic development and internal domestic product. At the same time, he mentioned the fact that in Republic of Moldova there are many impediments for the active engagement of women in political life and in business. To her turn, Ulziisuren Jamsran, Interim Head of UN Women Country Office, mentioned that assistance is provided by means of UN Women-implemented projects, which is aimed at improving the situation, and some positive results were obtained, but there are still many obstacles which need to be overpassed.

API Executive director Petru Macovei presented the results of the project on self-assessment through gender dimension, which involved 17 mass-media institutions from print and on-line media during nine months (February-October 2013). „The self-assessment exercise concluded that in more than a half of articles, the main characters were men, whereas the presence of women was 2.5 times less than that of men. The greatest misbalance in terms of gender was registered in articles about politics, sport, media and informational technologies, and economy; in such journalistic materials, the quota of men’s presence was five times more than women’s”, P. Macovei concluded. In order to diminish the gender discrepancies, the experts issued numerous recommendations and urged the editorial offices of mass-media institutions and journalists to set some objectives for promoting the principle of gender equality.

Being aware of the importance of accurate and balanced information about women and men produced by mass-media institutions, the journalists who took part in the round table committed to contribute to the elimination of stereotypes and discourage the spreading of gender discrepancies, by undersigning the Commitment to promote the principle of gender equality in journalistic materials, aiming to:

- present the information on men and women in a well-balanced manner in all sectors, including political and economic life,

- ensure the visibility of women in the election campaigns and women’s access to mass-media during such election campaigns,

- publicize successful examples of women’s involvement in political and economic life,

- identify and promote women-experts in traditionally-masculinised sectors and men-experts in traditionally-womanized sectors, thus balancing „voices” and coverage,

- use statistical data which are disintegrated in terms of gender, and well-balanced images in terms of gender equality,

- avoid the use of a sexist language and sexist representation of candidates, leaders and persons from all life sectors.

During and immediately following the round table entitled „Mass-media’s role in covering women’s involvement in public life”, 28 mass-media regional and local institutions have signed the Commitment. The signatory editorial offices called upon their colleagues to subscribe to this Commitment and invest efforts in its practical implementation.

ATTENTION: The Commitment for promoting the principle of gender equality in journalistic materials is open for all mass-media institutions from the country for signing.

The institutions wishing to sign it may address to API (telephone: 022/210602, responsible person – Stela Roman). An engraved plate containing the text of the Commitment will be handed in to each signatory editorial office.

The round table was organized by API and UN Women, under the UN Women Program in Moldova „Women’s economic empowerment”.

FINAL REPORT on mass-media institutions’ self-assessment through gender dimension

Recommendations for ensuring gender balance in journalistic materials

Flyer: "Mass-media shape opinions, and opinions should not be stereotyped" (in Romanian)

[1] National Public Broadcasting Institution “IPNA Company Teleradio-Moldova”, newspapers/magazines: „Adevărul Moldova”, „Ziarul de Gardă”, „Trud 7 Moldova”, „Jurnal de Chişinău”, „Expresul”, „Observatorul de Nord”, „Unghiul”, „SP”, „Glia Drochiană”, „Cuvântul Liber”, „Gazeta de Sud”, „Natura”, „Ecoul Nostru”, „Ora Locală”, „Agromediainform”, „Cuvântul”, „Est Curier”, IPN news agency, portals/websites: www.unimedia.info, www.gagauzinfo.md, www.hotnews.md, www.colonita.eu, www.stiripozitive.md, www.pentruea.md, www.politik.md, www.media-azi.md, www.ziuadeazi.md

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