18 March 2015
Dear IAWRT members,

The IAWRT parallel event at the CSW, about gender equality in the media, went very well. The Boss Room at the UN Church Center was filled to capacity with almost 100 people including a New York congresswoman, UNESCO & CEDAW representatives present.

Our lead researchers, Diana Nastasia, Romania and Greta Gober, Poland, presented the IAWRT findings of the international gender monitoring initiative, which gives an interesting analysis not only of gender representation in the media in eight countries, but also other social justice aspects such as sexual orientation, age, ethnicity, and ability.

Carmine Amaro, South Africa and Cambodia’s Khemra Som, explained the work
done by the chapters, and shared with the audience how the coding made them see the under-representation of women and other groups in society in a totally new way, and made them feel that they, as journalists, needed to do something about the facts exposed - that the lack of diversity and men outnumbered women in all the roles.

Frieda Werden, Canada linked the findings to Section J in the Beijing Platform for Action. Gerd Inger Polden, Norway made the opening remarks at the meeting presenting IAWRT as a long-standing organization, and Sheila Dallas Katzman moderated the meeting in a very engaging way.

The gender monitoring research preliminary findings have been uploaded onto the IAWRT website: http://iawrt.org/sites/default/files/field/pdf/2015/03/Preliminary%20fin...

UNESCO official Alton Grizzle said his organization was impressed with the results of our findings and would be interested to partner with IAWRT on this research.

The UNESCO official led us all in a chant at the end of the IAWRT event “yes we can, gender equality in the media by 2030!”

IAWRT CSW parallel event programme: http://iawrtusa.org/?page_id=453

On the whole, IAWRT was at the CSW for 5 days (the CSW runs for almost a month). Individual participants attended various side events - some of them posted on our Facebook page.

IAWRT as a member of the Global Alliance on Gender and Media (GAMAG) steering committee also participated in separate high-level discussions with UNESCO bosses and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka a United Nations Under-Secretary-General and the Executive Director of UN Women. The meetings highlighted shortcomings of Section J in the Beijing Platform for Action.

Surprisingly there is no reference to Gender and the media in Section J of the Beijing Platform for Action -SDGs. Ms. Ngcuka said the UN Women is sympathetic and has vested interest in a breakthrough. “You cannot be fully democratic when you are gender blind. Goal 5 should dismantle patriarchy.”

GAMAG Chair Colleen Lowe Moran added: "The next 7 years must be spent dismantling patriarchy, and the media must be an active participant of the process.”

We are in the process of compiling a newsletter, and putting together a short video and photographs of our event, which we will post on the website and Facebook page.

After attending the CSW events for a week, the 15 IAWRT participants were invited to a cocktail party, to celebrate the end of our event, at the home of Eleanor Alper an amazing painter/artist who has a penthouse in DUMBO, Brooklyn with a picturesque view of Manhattan. The highlight: 14 of us were stuck, for several minutes, in the elevator on our way to the top 32nd floor apartment! We realized later that the elevator was supposed to take about 5 or so people at a time!

Violet Gonda,
IAWRT Secretary