A three-day training is taking place to enhance the knowledge and skills of media professionals and journalists with regards to reporting development from a gender equality perspective during COVID-19 pandemic. The training was held virtually.

27 July 2020

Kuwait City, Kuwait – The training aims to enhance the capabilities of media personnel, media content producers, journalists, and advertising producers, in creating media content that is sensitive to the image of women. This means presenting women in a more multidimensional way that breaks cultural stereotypes regarding women and their role in society. Thereby, contributing to efforts to fulfill the aims of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 5, which is ‘Gender Equality’.

This workshop is organized jointly by UNDP, the Women’s Research and Studies Center (WRSC) at Kuwait University, the General Secretariat for the Supreme Council for Planning and Development, and UN Women; and with the support of the UNDP New York’s Rapid Response Fund.

The three-day workshop includes presentations on gender-related conscious and unconscious biases in the media, ways to confront them, gender and language in journalism and media, the impact of social media on women and girls, patterns of women’s interactions with social media, the qualitative and quantitative barriers of social media content revolving around women, and the way in which social media users interact with social media content revolving around women.

For his part, Secretary General of the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development, Dr. Khaled Mahdi, affirmed that the General Secretariat seeks, through this workshop, to raise the capabilities of media professionals and producers of media content; to promote the production of media content that is more comprehensive and balanced for women, more responsive to the goals of sustainable development and the role of women in achieving those goals. This is especially important in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that occupied large areas of media coverage in Kuwait and the world.

UNDP Resident Representative, Hideko Hadzialic, said: “COVID-19 has also presented an unprecedented global communications challenge. At the advent of social media, the value of professional, reliable and truthful journalism is becoming important more than ever. UNDP is pleased to partner with the media professional gathered at this training to provide diverse and balanced coverage on women's rights and gender equality.”

Dr. Lubna Al-Kazi - The Director of Women’s Research & Studies Center at the College of Social Sciences at Kuwait University - emphasized the importance of the workshop by stating that: “This training is the third training for Media Personnel by the Women’s Research and Studies Center. We believe that media has an important role in promoting gender equality by covering topics with gender sensitivity and removing gender stereotypes. By showing women in leadership posts and as experts on a diversity of areas on a regular basis not as an exception, their contribution in society will be recognized.”

Dr. Rula Al-Farra – trainer at the workshop; and trainer in the areas of democracy, human rights, media, women's empowerment, patterns of thinking, and mass media - reaffirmed that: “Raising the sensitivity levels of media professionals towards women's issues, balance and gender justice in the media content is an extremely important issue… when media professionals pay attention to their conscious and unconscious biases towards women; their ability to lead their societies towards women's equality… becomes more effective and more influential. This brings us closer to achieving sustainable development goals, especially the goal of gender equality in all decision-making and development processes.

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