Media actors have to be more active in raising awareness on gender equality and strengthening the role of woman in society

Media actors have to be more active in raising awareness on gender equality and strengthening the role of woman in society

Podgorica, PR press service – Montenegro needs greater political will for gender equality to finally get its rightful place on the political agenda, and the media, instead of simply transmitting information from events, must take a more active role in raising awareness of gender equality and strengthening the role of women in society.

This was assessed at the final conference organized by the Center for Democracy and Human Rights (CEDEM) within the project “Sharing Responsibility – Promoting Gender Equality Policies”, which was supported by the Ministry of Justice, Human, and Minority Rights.

Director of CEDEM, Milena Bešić, pointed out that Montenegro, as a candidate country and future member of the European Union, is obliged to achieve all goals that reduce gender discrimination, which are set in legislative and strategic documents adopted by the EU, European Commission and The Council of Europe, while equally binding are the documents of the United Nations, which ensure the achievement of gender equality.

“Gender equality is an inseparable part of the human rights corps and is a key element in the reform process and implies equal participation of women and men, equal position, equal opportunities and equal benefits from the results of work in all areas of private and public life,” Bešić said.

She said that Montenegro should take all necessary measures to improve the political, economic, social and other rights of women and achieve gender equality.

“In the light of the recent elections, we see that there are currently 18 women in the Parliament of Montenegro, while in the previous convocation that number was 21. Now there are 22 percent of women in parliamentary seats, and quotas and gender sensitive laws define the required 40 percent. This is not a message that speaks positively about the position of women in Montenegro,” Bešić said.

In addition, she added, women’s political participation in negotiations on forming of the new Government was lacking.

“This indicates the deep division and discrimination of women in the decision-making process.” With the development of a new strategic document, which is underway, and its implementation, Montenegro will continue to aim to eliminate political, economic and any other gender-based discrimination and to achieve greater representation of women in employment, as well as to strengthen national gender mechanisms for gender equality,” Bešić explained.

The goal of the Strategy is to increase the representation of women in management positions, both at the national and local levels.

“Achieving these goals will require greater political will for gender equality to finally get the place it deserves on the political agenda, not only formally, but also substantially. What I consider very important is a better understanding of gender equality policies and its full respect in relation to what is often only declarative, or something that is legally prescribed,” said Bešić.

All institutions are responsible for the implementation of policies, and, as she said, the civil sector also has a big role in the processes.

CEDEM Program Manager, Marko Pejović, stated that, within the project, from April 1 to June 30, an analysis of the print media in Montenegro concerning gender equality was performed. The analysis can be found here.

“Women are significantly less represented in the media, making up only 13 percent of the total corps, that is, their voice was heard and it was written about them in only 1,287 publications.” The difference between the media representation of men and women (dominant publications) amounts to as many as 4,656 media announcements in favor of men (five times less represented women), i.e. men had 38 percent more shares in the content of the observed media than women,” said Pejović.

Publications in four print media (Dan, Vijesti, Pobjeda and Dnevne novine) were followed, and as he stated, the biggest number of publications mentioning women was in Dan while the lowest was in Vijesti.

He added that the announcements that create a negative image of women and that negatively affect the idea of ​​gender equality have been recorded 60 times, that is, in five percent of the total number of publications.

“In the three-month period, members of Roma population, women with disabilities, and older women were almost not represented in the announcements. The analysis also showed that very few journalists ask women as experts for opinions on a particular topic. We have a dominance of men as experts and analysts. This clearly shows that the existing capacities are not used to a sufficient extent, especially the capacities of the academic community, in which, as the analysis showed, women have a significant share,” Pejović pointed out.

He stated that the analysis showed that women as academic experts, teachers, professors are more visible in the media than women who are engaged in other professions.

“Women are more often mentioned, or appear in areas such as science and education, the NGO sector and international organizations. We have very few announcements concerning women in business, politics, and especially women in engineering and construction,” said Pejović.

Kada se napravi uporedni odnos medijske zastupljenosti žena u odnosu na muškarce, kada je riječ o politici, kako je kazao, čak 10 odsto više je medijskih objava u kojima se pominju muškarci u odnosu na žene.

When a comparative ratio of media representation of women in relation to men is made, when it comes to politics, he said that there are as many as 10 percent more media announcements in which men are mentioned in relation to women.

He assessed that it is very important that, in the coming period, media experts and media representatives reflect on topics related to the fight against stereotypes, both in areas where women are not represented and in those where they are.

“On the front pages, only 137 articles were announced that concerned women. This primarily represents 10.64 percent of the total number of front pages published in the observed period. “125 front pages were neutral, while only four spoke affirmatively about women,” Pejović pointed out.

According to him, the analysis showed that a very small percentage of women from positions in politics, state institutions, and the non-governmental sector spoke about the problems that women face, such as social problems, violence, and gender equality.

“The data clearly shows that women in politics and state institutions should certainly use their position to promote gender equality and empower women,” Pejović pointed out.

According to him, the monitoring of the content of the print media in the observed period showed an extremely small number of publications that speak about gender equality – below one percent.

“Instead of merely transmitting information from various events, the media must take a more active role in raising awareness of the issue of gender equality and strengthening the role of women in society,” concluded Pejović.

It was determined that, as he said, the professional successes of women remain poorly visible to the media, as well as that the areas in which women’s participation is expected are clearly defined.

CEDEM Project Coordinator, Matija Miljanić, explained that the project aimed to raise awareness of the general public on the importance of gender equality and promote greater representation and participation of women in political and public life at the national and local levels.

“Some of the activities we carried out were the school of gender equality, seminars for representatives of local self-governments, a seminar for counselors from the judiciary and the prosecutor’s office concerning gender equality, and legal protection of women victims of domestic violence. We also had a quarterly monitoring of the print media and the development of recommendations for more sensitive media reporting on gender equality,” said Miljanić.

He pointed out that respect for gender equality depends not only on institutions, but also on citizens.

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