Journalists across the region recommit to reporting on women’s rights in conflict, through a regional meeting and workshop on gender-sensitive media coverage

Date: Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Participants undertaking a mock interview on issues of women, peace and security in the Arab States. Photo: UN Women/Emad Karim

Cairo – Egypt. In countries experiencing and recovering from conflict, the media has a critical role to play in accurately reporting the impact of violence on civilians.  The media can promote and amplify calls for inclusive peace by highlighting the needs of affected populations. Effective and accurate reporting can also build public demand for women’s engagement in conflict resolution and peacemaking and for integrated responses and services that meet the needs of women and girls both during and after conflict.

With several countries in the Arab States region experiencing conflict, supporting the media to enhance its reporting on issues concerning women, peace and security in the region is essential to ensure that women’s voices and priorities are heard during conflict – not only as victims, but also as leaders and peacemakers. 

In recognition of this, UN Women partnered with the International Center for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding (CCCPA) to lead a five-day-workshop on gender-sensitive media coverage in conflict situations, as part of broader strategic relationship with the CCCPA on issues of women, peace and security. Twenty-six journalists from ten countries (Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and Iraq) gathered in Cairo for training that included scenario-based simulations to explore and prompt discussion on inclusive reporting, such as issues related to gender-sensitive language, word choice, story identification and conflict analysis.

“This training gave the journalists an opportunity to link theory with practice. It is unprofessional for journalists to simply skip a group of people. They need to present balanced stories and topics, with accurate numbers and information” said Randa Yassir, a Lebanese media specialist in reflecting on the utility of the training.

UN Women in the Arab States works with government and civil society partners, in particular women’s rights organizations, to build demand and accountability for the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda, which emphasizes the centrality of women to effective peacemaking, peacekeeping and recovery.