The GAMAG held its 1st ever general assembly throughout 9-10 December 2015, to act on the resolutions of the International Development Cooperative Meeting on Gender and Media. It was also held in the Palais Des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
Global Alliance on Media and Gender (GAMAG) was formed in 2013, in Bangkok. The strategic objectives of Section J in the Beijing Declaration and Platform Action (BPFA) are still unachieved and one of them is “Promote a balanced and non-stereotyped portrayal of women in the media. Actions to be taken.” This urged GAMAG and its partners to campaign for Section J’s targets achievement by empowering, financing and supporting gender equality in and through the media.
This general assembly was also aiming to strive for gender equality in media systems, structures and content by toughening international, national and regional cooperations that would allow stakeholders to work together to make a global change. To push them forwards, Mr. Alton Grizzle; Programme Specialist in communication & information in UNESCO, has said “GAMAG is you, GAMAG is work.” Sarah Macharia, the GMMP Global Coordinator and Manager , believed that only by ending sexism in media by 2020, gender equality could be achieved before 2030. Sarah also mentioned “we have to revolutionise our strategies to see what works.” There were also sub-comitties in the general assembly such as the Youth group set by the ‘Youth Leadership Council’ (YLC) to work on activities that would operationalise GAMAG and apply what has been said in the meetings to their everyday lives.
The meeting’s high officials like Aimée Vega Montiel, the president of the IAMCR, told the audience the importance of gender equality in media organisations by stating “The higher the position, the fewer the woman in media.” A Gothenburg’s university researcher, Maria Edström, added on the significance of having a fair representation of men and women by mentioning “We cannot have freedom of expression and freedom of information without gender equality.” Like a wake up call to the audience, Dominic Beaubrun, board director of the CBU, emphasised on the injustice of media towards women by revealing that “women are continuously portrayed in a negative way & degraded by the media.”
General Assembly ended with a note assuring that there will be a follow-up and will build on the progress of the strategic objectives of Section J of the BFPA and that GAMAG will monitor the progress. The high officials also urged the audience many of which are part of media organisations to start taking action, speak of injustice and stand up for gender equality.