Awareness-raising Session: The Media’s Role in Enhancing Women’s Participation in Public Life

REFORM implements an awareness-raising session on the media’s role in enhancing women’s participation in public life to highlight the challenges women encounter in the media and how it can be devoted to defending women’s rights.

women’s representation in the media

The Palestinian Association for Empowerment and Local Development—REFORM, implemented an awareness-raising session entitled: “The Media’s Role in Enhancing Women’s Participation in Public Life,” via the electronic application, ZOOM.  This session included the participation of Ms. Suheir Faraj, Director of Women Media and Development—TAM, and Ms. Nahida Abu Ta’emah, a journalist, along with the project’s beneficiaries and community activists.  This session aimed to highlight women’s issues in the media, bullying against women, how the media can be devoted to defending women’s rights and it can be a civic space to express humanitarian issues.

Financing for this initiative was made possible by the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF), a flexible and rapid financing tool supporting quality interventions to enhance the capacity of women in Palestine and around the world working to prevent conflict, respond to crises and seize key peacebuilding opportunities. With technical support from UN Women Palestine, this project comes in light of the challenges that women encounter, particularly in Area C and H2 areas of the Hebron Governorate.

The Coronavirus, women and the media

The session began with an introduction on media and its importance in raising citizens’ awareness of various issues, especially social issues related to women and gender. Ms. Faraj discussed how women are represented in the media as weak and marginalized. She further called on the media to improve women’s image by presenting success stories of Palestinian women in terms of their lives, their role and societal contributions.

Moreover, Ms. Nahida Abu Ta’emah stressed that women’s institutions must use the media positively to highlight women’s issues. She also added that all women’s institutions must work together to attract all media outlets to pay attention to women’s issues. Ms. Abu Ta’emah referred to the experience of the spread of the Coronavirus and how the media portrayed women in their traditional role, such as teaching children and cleaning the house, thus, increasing their responsibility inside the home. However, it did not portray women’s participation in local committees or as nurses and doctors. She further discussed her own experience of how she was cyber-bullied as a broadcaster, which prompted her to file a law suit.  

At the end of the session, the speakers emphasized the necessity of building a unified media strategy for the institutions and the feminist movement in order for the media to highlight all women’s issues in a positive way.

ABOUT the project

This training comes as part of the “Women in Conflict Prevention in Hebron – Palestine” Project, implemented by The Palestinian Association for Empowerment and Local Development—REFORM, in partnership with the Rural Women’s Development Society (RWDS) and in cooperation with the Arab Educational Institute. This project aims to increase women’s participation in decision-making processes and enhance the role of both women and men in building safe societies responsive to the needs of women.

ABOUT WPHF

The Women’s Peace & Humanitarian Fund (WPHF) mobilizes critical financial support for local and grassroots civil-society organizations working on women, peace and security and humanitarian action. Since its launch in 2016, WPHF has funded over 140 civil-society organizations in 12 countries supporting women on the front lines to be a force for crisis response and lasting peace.

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