Gender equality is a prerequisite for human rights, democracy and social justice. It benefits society as a whole.  Media and editorial freedom, media pluralism and gender equality can advance one another. The European Convention on Human Rights bans all types of discrimination, including on grounds of gender. Not only women, but also men can suffer from the standards imposed by gender stereotypes and sexist advertising in the media. For these reasons, there is a need to create equal access to media work and management posts for both sexes and the presentation of men and women in the media must not undermine gender equality.

To promote gender equality in the media, the media and internet division engages in standard-setting activities based notably on the European Convention on Human Rights and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights. The aim is for member states to update their legal framework, national indicators and judicial practices as well as to increase reflection, discussions and awareness-raising among actors within the private sector, the civil society and governments of member states. The sharing of best practices among member states is another important tool. Example-setting measures are encouraged by insisting on the pioneering role that public service media should have in matters of gender equality and by encouraging self-regulatory measures such as codes of ethics and internal supervision. The division also collaborates with and promotes the work of other institutions and organisations, for instance UNESCO’s precious “Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media” (GSIM) or the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) and its Global Reports on the Status of Women in the News Media.

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Closing conference to present the results of the Council of Europe Project "Gender equality and media freedom in Azerbaijan"

Baku 19 June 2019
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Closing conference to present the results of the Council of Europe Project

The Council of Europe organised a closing conference / round table on “Gender equality and media” to present the results of its project “Gender equality and media freedom in Azerbaijan” to the national stakeholders on 18 June 2019 in Baku. Ambassador Zoltan Hernyes, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Baku, Artemiza-Tatiana Chisca, Head of Information and Media Department, Sadagat Gahramanova, Deputy Head of the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs, Aflatun Amashov, Member of Milli Majlis and Head of Azerbaijan Press Council, Vugar Salimov, Presidential Administration, Aydin Safikhanli, Head of the Ombudsman Office and Jeyhun Garajayev, Judge of the Constitutional Court addressed the opening session of the closing conference and highlighted the importance of achievements under the Project.

An introductory film dedicated to the results of the Project was demonstrated. Main achievements of the Project - the Code of Professional Ethics for Azerbaijani journalists revised from a gender equality perspective, the curriculum on a new course on “Gender equality and media freedom” for Journalism faculties and the Guide on “Gender equality and the media” for news producers in Azerbaijan were presented to the national stakeholders. More than 80 representatives of the state authorities, higher education institutions, diplomatic corps, media and civil society as well as international and local experts participated in the closing conference / round table and discussed the future steps.


ASSESSING CHALLENGES ASSESSING CHALLENGES

The MSI-MED, Committee of experts on pluralism of the media and transparency of media ownership, prepared a Study on the issue of gender equality in the media coverage of elections. The study reaffirms the need to mainstream gender equality and incorporate it in all aspects of electoral coverage, including through implementation of the existing standards of the Council of Europe, as well as through media education and research.