UN Women promoting gender-sensitive media coverage

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The media representatives are discussing topics covered by the training module. Photo: George Gogua
The media representatives are discussing topics covered by the training module. Photo: George Gogua

Ethical media coverage of women’s rights and LGBTQI issues makes a very significant contribution towards defying gender stereotypes and shaping sound public opinion. However, it is often very challenging for journalists to work on these topics and to produce gender-sensitive materials. That is why the systematic and regular training of media representatives and the promotion of relevant standards and self-regulatory mechanisms remain especially topical in Georgia as well.

Based on this reality, with the support of the European Union, UN Women and the Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics are actively collaborating to support the ethical, gender-sensitive coverage of women’s rights and LGBTQI issues. Within the framework of this cooperation, there are plans to organize trainings for media representatives during the current year.

It should be noted that the training module is based on special guidelines that are intended for the media and that will be published in the near future. Trainers have been trained already, and they will hold up to 20 trainings based on this module in Tbilisi and the regions of Kvemo Kartli and Guria. They have already held two workshops and discussed the topics of the module.

The participants discussed such issues as the principles and importance of preparing gender-sensitive stories, examples of unethically prepared stories and the proliferation of discriminatory attitudes by the media. In addition, they also talked about local and international cases, the role of social media and other important topics.

Participant Nino Zautashvili, the author and host of the programme Real Space aired by the Public Broadcaster, shared feedback after discussing the module: “In order to ensure that the opinion and information provided by you as a professional is reliable, you have to strictly adhere to the standards adopted globally. The standard, which has been tested over time and has turned into a self-regulation code, should be observed without fear or favour. In this respect, a very important meeting was held, during which we analysed once again the role of the media while working on sensitive topics.”

The training module that the journalists will attend also envisages sharing guidance on producing gender-sensitive stories, maintaining the principles of fair and balanced coverage and supporting the best experience of working on women’s and LGBTQI issues, as well as providing recommendations and other useful materials.

The collaboration between UN Women and the Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics is part of the project “Ending Violence against Women and Girls in Georgia”, which is implemented by UN Women and UNFPA with the support of the European Union.