Friday, April 7, 2017
For this year's International Women's Day (March 8th), Free Press Unlimited and her partners wanted to highlight the importance of gender equality throughout the media and pay special attention to the position of women in the media.  

Pakistani media celebrated women

Pakistani media organization and our partner PakVoices celebrated the achievements of women in remote regions and called attention to the problems they face. Furthermore, events were organized in the city of Gwadar and in the Tharparkar district, with support of Free Press Unlimited. “Both events were attended by all kinds of women, including teachers, female students and academic experts.” PakVoices describes the events; “this initiative provided an opportunity to raise awareness regarding the issues and barriers hindering women's progress.”

Empowerment of women in CAR

In Central African Republic there were events and debates for a couple days prior to Women's Day itself, organized by media organization and our partner Association des Femmes Professionnelles de la Communication (AFPC). The theme of the event-marathon was the “empowerment of women towards economic sustainability,” which was also the subject of a radio-show. Furthermore, discussions took place around 'the role of women journalists in the media' and the role of women in an editorial team.

Women's rights in Sudan 

Our Sudanese radio-station, Radio Dabanga, celebrated International Women's Day both on the radio and online. Various news items and daily discussion programmes on the radio and website were on the topic of women's rights and related discussions. Furthermore, the Question of the Day on Facebook encouraged Sudanese women to comment on their situation in various fields. 

Men march for women's rights

Together with local media organizations, Free Press Unlimited organized a Men4Women March in Nepal, Bangladesh and Indonesia. The aim was to raise awareness for women in the media, and women's rights in general.

Changing gender inequality in Indonesia

In Indonesia, the Men4Women Marches took place in Jakarta, Jombang and Banyuwangi. News editor Wahyu Dyatmika from Tempo reflects on the march: “It was a truly unique experience. The men felt a renewed spirit to support and acknowledge women's struggles for equality in our working place. Participating in the march gave us, men, a chance to voice our support and to stand with our female colleagues. The march taught us all about the importance of changing the way we treat gender inequality in our surroundings.”

In Indonesia, the following organizations participated in the Men4Women March: Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), Tempo Media Group, CNN Indonesia, Jakarta Post en Perhimpunan Pengembangan Media Nusantara (PPMN).

Dismantling stereotypes in Bangladesh 

In Bangladesh, the Men4Women March took place in 18 cities across the country, including the capital Dhaka. Around 2,800 men showed their support for women and the struggles they face when portrayed in the media or society. “We must dismantle all stereotype concepts about women, and the media will help us to come out from this situation,” a local teacher commented on the role of the media. There was a lot of media attention – mostly by the radio stations themselves – on this topic: talk shows, songs, discussions and more.

In Bangladesh, the following organizations participated in the Men4Women March: Bangladesh NGO Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC), Kanastara News for Kids, ATN Bangla, and 17 local community radio stations.

Raising awareness in Nepal 

In the Nepalese capital Kathmandu, the Men4Women March included around 300 men. During the march the participants asked the bystanders questions concerning how women are being portrayed in order to raise even more awareness. Restless Development Nepal closed the march off with a short performance, related to 'Violence against Women.' The event was covered by various news outlets.

In Nepal, the following organizations participated in the Men4Women March: Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists (NEFEJ), Freedom Forum, Antenna Foundation Nepal (AFN), Child Workers in Nepal Concerned Centre (CWIN), Restless Development Nepal and Man Engage Alliance (MEA).

Support and solidarity for women

What made these events special is that men made an appeal to other men to care about 'women's issues'. “We should care about the health of women, including domestic violence and sexual abuse. As leaders of change, we should speak out against unacceptable behavior,” a speaker declared at the Men4Women March in Dhaka, Bangladesh. In total more than 3.200 men showed their support and solidarity.

More pictures of the Men4Women March can be found on our Facebook page