PIWA supports the Press that empowers professionalism

Image of women in the media

On the 5 and 6 May, 2014 a sensitization seminar on the role of publishers and the image of women in media content, was held in the premises of the Press House in Abidjan. This meeting was implemented in partnership with the Network of Women Journalists and communication professionals of Côte d'Ivoire (REFJPCI) and the Observatory for the Freedom of Expression, Ethics and Conduct (OLPED).

For such occasion, the Panos Institute West Africa was one of the honourable guests among whom Mms Anne Desiree Ouloto, the Minister of Solidarity, Family, Women and Children Mms Josette Barry, the Inspector in charge of print press and representative of the Minister of Communications, the Resident Representative of UNESCO, the President of the OLPED, the Country Director of UN Women, the Resident Representative of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the responsible for communication of the World Bank in Côte d'Ivoire.

Many media organizations were represented at the occasion. Among these we could note the presence of URPCI, a faithful partner of PIWA in Côte d'Ivoire. Other equally important organizations (GEPCI, UNJCI OJPCI) and organizations defending women's rights: the organization of working women of Cote d'Ivoire (OFACI) WANEP CDVR, COCOPROVI, who were representing women in commerce and the Convention of the Ivorian Civil Society (CSCI).

This mixed audience has followed with interest the results of the study on the role and image of women in media contents in Cote d'Ivoire, and which has targeted in its methodology, six of the most read newspapers.

The results of this study showed a virtual absence of women in the media contents as both sources and object of news. The few times women appear, they are not valued even though in many areas of daily life, they are at the forefront with achievements that deserve to be known.

The meeting, which lasted two days, was also an opportunity to develop a charter on the role and image of women in Cote d'Ivoire. The draft charter was discussed article by article in plenary meeting group and validated, subject to finalization.

In the discussions that followed, some publishers have committed themselves to consider in a more favourable manner the "Gender" approach by trying to comply with the recommendations of the study.

Participants have also brainstormed on ideas that could help promote the charter in the short and medium term. Some activities have been identified and then validated in order to finalize the Charter and the Action Plan.

The Charter in its final version will be printed out and a symbolic signing ceremony and publication will be made ??jointly with media executives who will ensure its application in their newsroom.

A monitoring scheme will be implemented with an annual assessment to reward media that have distinguished themselves in improving the image of women in Cote d'Ivoire.