The role of media to end violence against women

Dec 7, 2016

Participants discussing the different forms of violence against women during a media workshop at Ain Sokhna, Egypt. UNDP Egypt/Fatma Elzahraa Yassin

Media is considered one of the powerful tools to mitigate and end violence against women. The National Council for Women (NCW) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) joined forces to host 30 media personnel, representing both private and public television and radio outlets, for a two-day workshop from Wednesday 7 to Thursday 8 December 2016 at Ain Sokhna, Egypt.

The media workshop falls under the umbrella of the “16 days of activism to end violence against women” campaign. The campaign is a global initiative aimed to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world. At the workshop, the sessions highlighted the various forms of violence against women, the role of media to end it and the recent laws and actions taken in this endeavor. The workshop witnessed vibrant discussions between the participants and the speakers on the above-mentioned issues.

As people watch the television more and more, listen to various radio stations and depend on online news sources to get their information, the role of media is highly influential due to its massive reach to people all over Egypt. 

How can media be used to educate the society and change perceptions to positively influence the community and end violence against women? What are the possible solutions to change stereotypes especially ones features in drama and movies? Will media play a pivotal role to influence biased perceptions? These were among the questions raised in the workshop that set the way to improve their effective role.

The speakers included Dr. Suzan Qaliny, member of the NCW and Head of Arts College at Ain Shams University, Dr. Naglaa Al Adly, Head of International Cooperation at the NCW, Prof. Dr. Mohamed Gamal Attia Abdel-Maksoud Isa, Dean of Faculty of Law at Zagazig University, and Dr. Hisham Attia, Journalism Professor at Faculty of Mass Communications at Cairo University.

“We all have to understand our role as media people in initiating and fostering new opportunities to advance women empowerment and foster ending violence against women. This can’t be achieved without the support of the media and its power to change attitudes and behaviors.” Said Dr. Suzan Qaliny.

The workshop ended on a recommendation that media should take a leading role in reporting on violence against women, speak more and feature stories to promote ending violence against women while giving women a platform to voice their issues.

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