beijing+20 Women and the Media
As far back as 1995, it was clear that progress made in information technology was driving the emergence of a global communications network. The potential for the media to make a far greater contribution towards promoting women has been explicitly stated in the Platform for Action. The strategic objectives set out there
- Increase the participation and access of women to expression and decision-making in and through the media and new technologies of communication
- Promote a balanced and non-stereotyped portrayal of women in the media
have found very limited implementation.
Today, we can see that digital media may have repeatedly changed forms of social interaction and self-portrayal in the virtual world – with far-reaching impact on gender images and identities – yet the new means and possibilities have done nothing to change the patriarchal power structures that prevail there.
Whilst women have since become more prominent in the media, they rarely occupy leading positions and have very limited means of helping to shape media politics. Moreover, they still battle sexualized and stereotypical portrayals within the traditional and new digital media. Further aggravating the situation are new challenges from new forms of exclusion and discrimination that have arisen through digital media and were unforeseeable 20 years ago.