Promoting gender-awareness in China's mass media
In China, media and gender issues have come to the fore since the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995. More reports and programmes on women are now produced, helping to diversify the image of women portrayed in the media. However in spite of these improvements, media representation of women still lags behind China’s development in general. Women remain stereotyped and marginalized in the media. Even in media specifically orientated at women, the representation aspect remains a problem. The Chinese Women’s NGOs Report on Beijing+15 pointed out that “there lacks gender consciousness in mass media and the phenomena of gender discrimination remain pervasive. Women’s images that comply with traditional gender codes are still widely received in mass media” and that “media products that tout women’s sexual characteristics still abound…”
The media’s role in promoting gender equality and gender mainstreaming has been recognized by China. However, media reporting on gender issues and the portrayal of women are influenced by various factors. Media professionals’ gender awareness, which could be reflected in media organizations’ administration or shown in the programme-making process, is one of the determining factors in bringing the media’s role in promoting gender equality and gender mainstreaming to its full use.
This project will attempt to address the issue by conducting a three-day national training workshop for 30 media professionals as well as a 7-month monitoring period on the media content of the participating organizations in order to evaluate the success of the training workshop. The monitoring results will be published as a comprehensive analytical report, followed by a one day seminar to strengthen the outcome of the previous training, as well as to prepare for another round of training. The training workshops which form part of the activities of this project will gather top media and gender scholars and media professionals to discuss related topics, and to develop complementary training materials that meet the Chinese reality.