The Southeast Asian Press Alliance recently conducted a gender assessment of its communication materials, which included the annual regional press freedom reports and the fellowship stories.
The independent review was in response to recommendations by earlier evaluations regarding SEAPA’s gender policy, to “gauge the extent to which gender has been mainstreamed into its communications materials, and to figure out what more needs to be done to integrate gender into its communications strategies.”
According to the findings, there is room for improvement where gender sensitivity and balance are reflected in the communication strategy. “While the use of gender-sensitive language is generally practiced, sources of quotes and information/authority are far from diverse and gender perspectives are largely missing from much of the content,” the review concludes.
The assessment cites several key UN documents and processes that have recognised the importance of gender mainstreaming in the media sector, as well as in the context of rights to freedom of expression.
The content under review included SEAPA’s statements and alerts, joint alerts and statements with other organizations, activity reports, annual reports on media freedom, impunity reports, feature articles by journalists in SEAPA network, fellowship articles and SEAPA social media.
Recommendations included building the awareness and skills on gender mainstreaming within SEAPA and its alliance partners, and conducting workshops that could eventually lead to introducing codes, guidelines, checklists, toolkits and/or other resources for media workers as well as gender and media training modules. A recommendation to have a focal point in the organization was reiterated to promote and keep tabs on the integration of gender into programming and organizational development.
SEAPA will take cognizance of the findings and recommendations to improve gender mainstreaming in our work to promote freedom of expression and media freedom in the region.