Council of Europe addresses role of regulators on gender equality in the media

posted on 31 July, 2013   (public)

On 10 July 2013, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted a Recommendation on gender equality and media. In its preamble, the recommendation emphasises that:

  • Gender equality is an indispensable condition for the full enjoyment of human rights;
  • Genuine democracy requires the equal participation of women and men in society;
  • Media freedom (including editorial freedom) and gender equality are intrinsically inter-related;
  • There is a gender dimension to media pluralism and diversity of media content.

Member States are, inter alia, encouraged to adopt adequate policies which can create the appropriate conditions under which the media can promote gender equality as a fundamental principle of their activities and institutional organisation in the new multidimensional media environment and to:

  • "bring the recommendation to the attention of the media sector, journalists and other actors and their respective organisations, as well as the regulatory authorities for the media and new communications and information services for the preparation or revision of their regulatory and self-regulatory strategies and codes of conduct, in conformity with the guidelines below".

An appendix to Recommendation CM/Rec(2013)1 includes guidelines addressed to Member States and media organizations where it is stated that:

  • "2. Member States should particularly ensure, through appropriate means, that media regulators respect gender equality principles in their decision making and practice."

The guidelines also set a number of measures or mechanisms for the effective implementation of the strategies and policies to achieve gender equality goals in the media. This includes:

  • Reviewing and assessing gender equality policy and legislation. More specifically, they propose that media regulators should be mandated to include an assessment of the implementation of gender equality policy in the media in their annual reports;
  • Adopting and implementating national indicators for gender equality in the media;
  • Providing information and promoting  good practices;
  • Encouraging the development of accountability channels;
  • Promoting active research and publications;
  • Promoting media literacy and active citizenship.

Recommendation CM/Rec(2013)1 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on gender equality and media

Source: Council of Europe