The Council of Europe organised a round table on “Gender equality and media” on 27 February 2018 in Baku. The main aim of the round table was to raise awareness on the CoE standards on gender equality and media freedom, to present a new project of the Council of Europe on “Gender equality and media freedom in Azerbaijan” to national counterparts and international organisations, and to give the floor to open discussions.
Ambassador Mr. Zoltan Hernyes, Head of Council of Europe Office in Baku, Ms Lejla Dervisagic, Head of Cooperation Unit, Media and Internet Division DGI of the Council of Europe, Ambassador Kestutis Jankauskas, Head of EU Delegation in Azerbaijan, Mr Aflatun Amashov, Head of Azerbaijani Press Council and Member of Milli Majlis, Mr Vugar Salimov, Presidential Administration, Mr Aydin Safikhanli, Head of Ombudsman Office and Ms Farah Ajalova, Ministry of Foreign Affairs addressed the audience at the opening session.
The round table was split to two thematic sessions and concluded by a separate questions and answers session. The first session was devoted to the Council of Europe standards on gender equality and media. Ms Lejla Dervisagic made a presentation on the topic and mentioned that despite some progress of gender equality in Europe, the participation of women in media process is still alarming. Ms Dervisagic also highlighted the most recent study (from December 2017) on media coverage of elections with a specific focus on gender equality.
It was stressed that the new project aims to bring the Code of Ethics for Azerbaijani journalists in line with the CoE standards on gender equality and media freedom; to raise awareness among journalists and media on the CoE standards on gender equality and media freedom and to improve the quality of journalism education through a new curriculum and a teaching course on “Gender equality and media freedom".
Local law and media experts raised the main issues of concern existing in the country on gender equality and media in the second session and made their proposals on how to improve the situation.
About 35 representatives of state authorities (Presidential Administration, Ombudsman Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, State Committee on Family, Women and Children Affairs), academia, members of the Press Council, media professionals, civil society as well as representatives of international organisations and embassies participated in the round table and took an active participation in discussions.
Media coverage of the round table in Azerbaijani media: