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Launch of Middle East Gender Study Marks International Women’s Day

March 9, 2010

Women journalists representing 15 journalists’ unions of the International Federation of Journalists from across the Arab World and Middle East gathered in Al Manama-Bahrain to mark International Women’s Day. The regional meeting held on 6-8 March, was hosted by the Bahrain Journalists Association (BJA). The IFJ office in Bahrain ran a series of discussions and a workshop on gender equality and leadership in the media.

“It is inspiring to see women journalists in the region stand up together for their rights” said Sarah Bouchetob, IFJ Projects and Campaigns Officer for the Middle East and the Arab World. ‘The time has come for politicians, media owners and journalists’ unions to take their responsibilities in the struggle for equality in the region.”

On this occasion, the IFJ launched its regional study ‘Gender Fact Sheets on Women Journalists in the Middle East and the Arab World’. The study gives an overview of the status of women and their political representation, as well as an additional analysis of women in the media and in journalists’ unions across the region.

The study covers 14 countries and gives alarming figures on women’s presence in the media. The meeting noticed that despite the high rates of women graduating from media schools, with an average of 60 per cent in the surveyed countries, only 27 per cent of the workforce in media outlets are women and women make up just 21percent of the union membership.

The need for improved representation of women in the media, led the meeting to adopt two priorities, to recruit more women and continue to promote their presence in the unions’ leaderships and to prepare a regional Code of Conduct on portrayal of women in the media.

The following countries participated to the meeting:
United Arab Emirates

For more information contact:
International Federation of Journalists
Phone: 32 2 235 2205

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