From setting media’s sights on issues of child sexual abuse to featuring examples of how women can make a difference, the stories in ‘Scope’ provide a taste of gender and media issues – as well as some regional ones – that are relevant and current to Southeast Asia.
‘Scope’ puts together a collection of articles that not only come from different societies and contexts, but reflect the diversity of media cultures, reporting environments and styles, and ways of cooking, if you will, of various topics. In many cases, how the articles in this magazine were produced are stories by themselves, including in terms of how the journalists and writers looked for information, discussed this with their editors and made revisions.
All these come together not in one singular voice, but in different voices and views, much like a menu that has different dishes prepared by different cooks with varying ingredients, styles and tastes.
‘Scope’ thus contains a combination of views, voices and perspectives in these articles that a group of 12 journalists from Southeast Asia produced as part of the two streams of SEAPA’s media fellowship program in 2017. As has been said many times – including during ASEAN’s 50th year in 2017– Southeast Asia has a lot of things in common as part of the community it is in progress of becoming, but has quite a lot of diversity in political systems and cultures, including in media.
The magazine starts with stories that show how women can be empowered and empower others, be it in the stories that look into how women inmates in the Philippines who train to be paralegals, or how women journalists in Vietnam have helped put media’s focus on issues of child sexual abuse. While the law is an enabler of gender equality, several articles also look into how it is far from a magic solution. For instance, the implementation of the Philippines’ landmark law on reproductive health continues to be challenged by opponents. Likewise questions arise about what comes after a record number of women get to political office in Timor-Leste, and the fate of a important gender equality law in Thailand that too few know about.
Stepping back from nationally focused topics, other articles look into the impact on gender-based violence of the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children, seven years after its creation. Cambodian migrant workers’ worries about their inability to vote and Myanmar workers’ uncertainty about life in Thailand are cross-border topics discussed here as well.
We hope you enjoy the stories on the menu.