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Feminists campaign for equal representation in media

Catalan Women's Institute kicks off movement for higher presence in media

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08 March 2018 12:48 PM

by

Alex Rolandi | Barcelona

With International Women’s Day underway once more, equal rights between both genders continues to be a major issue worldwide, in some countries more than others. In Catalonia, for example, women earn 24% less than men, and occupy much fewer managerial positions. In the media, in particular, women have much less visibility compared to men.

In conjunction with the annual day dedicated to women, as if one was enough, the Catalan administration is setting in motion an initiative in order to create more equality in the media sector within the country.

Fight for your rights

“The right to effective equality between women and men is one of the human rights that has been systematically violated the most,” the administration stated in an institutional statement. Feminist movements around the world continue fighting for this equality as, even in 2018, women’s rights continue to be violated around the globe.

“Androcentrism and patriarchy are the main causes of inequalities and of sexist violence and this is the reality that we must combat,” the statement reads. “In Catalonia, we want to strengthen the voices of women in all areas, both in the public and private sphere, since, too often, the opinions of women are silenced or placed in a lower position,” it goes on to say.

Male-dominated media

Inequality in Catalan media, where it is still male-dominated, was highlighted. “In the media of Catalonia, women’s opinions are still not very visible. Currently women only make up 28% of the total media coverage. The authoritative and supposedly more expert voice is still male,” states the government.

The public Catalan Institute of Women wants to change all this and promote fairness in the industry by involving “the media in the normalization and elimination of these products of the imagination that, on a daily basis, reproduce sexist roles and stereotypes.”

Unseen voices

Therefore, with its Gender Policy Strategic Plan, aims to increase the visibility of women with the “Veus que no veus” (voices you don’t see) programme. The initiative will promote the influence of women in the public sphere, especially in media.

In order to create equality in all opinion programmes, the involvement of all media is necessary, the government has stated.  Its objective is to implement “a fair and balanced representation and dissemination of the goals achieved by women in different fields and social disciplines.”

Not just for women

Feminism is not just a cause for women, but for everyone who believes in universal equality. As the Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi wrote in her book of the same title: “we should all be feminists.

Gender parity is necessary throughout society. “The media as well,” states the government. “We want and need feminist media in order to build a just and egalitarian society for all people. We vindicate this March 8 ‘Unseen voices,’” the document finishes.

On strike

According to the latest figures, millions of women from more than 40 different countries will be taking part in the International Women’s Strike on Thursday, protesting for a fairer world.

There are many reasons to do so. Recently in Catalonia, it was revealed that pensions for retired women are 40% less than those of men. At the workplace, inequality remains rife, even in 2018, and let’s not forget about gender violence and abuse. In this patriarchal society, every year thousands of women are murdered worldwide at the hands of men.

In 2017, seven women were killed by violent men in Catalonia, while 12,000 complaints were of abuse were filed by November.

 

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  • Frame for “Veus que no veus” campaign (courtesy of Catalan Women's Institute)

  • Frame for “Veus que no veus” campaign (courtesy of Catalan Women's Institute)