Inter­na­tion­al Wom­en’s Day 2020: We are Gen­er­a­tion Equal­i­ty

As peo­ple, women, men, work­ers, researchers, and activists engaged in the Grass­roots Radio project, we join the Inter­na­tion­al Women’s Day 2020, which UN Women has ded­i­cat­ed to the theme of Gen­der Equal­i­ty. The Gen­er­a­tion Equal­i­ty cam­paign is bring­ing togeth­er peo­ple of every gen­der, age, eth­nic­i­ty, race, reli­gion and coun­try, to dri­ve actions that will cre­ate the gen­der-equal world we all deserve. In join­ing this cam­paign as well as oth­er forms of demon­stra­tion, the Grass­roots Radio project is com­mit­ted to mobi­liz­ing to end gen­der-based vio­lence; we are call­ing for eco­nom­ic jus­tice and rights for all; bod­i­ly auton­o­my, sex­u­al and repro­duc­tive health and rights; and fem­i­nist action for cli­mate jus­tice. We want tech­nol­o­gy and inno­va­tion for gen­der equal­i­ty; and fem­i­nist lead­er­ship.

Grass­roots Radio is pilot­ing actions for com­mu­ni­ty infor­ma­tion plat­forms and media plu­ral­ism, work­ing to low­er the bar­ri­ers to start and sus­tain a com­mu­ni­ty radio sta­tion, cre­ate region­al and Euro­pean-wide net­works of sta­tions that can pool com­mu­ni­ty-lev­el resources, co-inno­vate col­lab­o­ra­tive media ser­vices, increase the per­me­abil­i­ty and impact of those sta­tions through a com­bi­na­tion of exist­ing dig­i­tal and nondig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies.
In under­tak­ing all these activ­i­ties, the Grass­roots Radio project is devot­ed not only to ensure gen­der equal­i­ty in terms of fair dis­tri­b­u­tion of men and women across roles and respon­si­bil­i­ties, but also to employ a gen­der per­spec­tive to shape research prac­tices in order to improve the social rel­e­vance and the sci­en­tif­ic qual­i­ty of the out­puts we are devel­op­ing.

We rec­og­nize that the role of (com­mu­ni­ty) media in pro­mot­ing gen­der equal­i­ty is fun­da­men­tal. Com­mu­ni­ty radio has the respon­si­bil­i­ty to pro­mote the active involve­ment of women and LGBTQ+ peo­ple in order to achieve both a fair and non-stereo­typed rep­re­sen­ta­tion and deci­sion-mak­ing posi­tions in all forms of media. Com­mu­ni­ty radio should be at the fore­front of achiev­ing these objec­tives, in line with the gen­der equal­i­ty strat­e­gy out­lined by the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion.

It is cru­cial that the strug­gle to achieve gen­der equal­i­ty in the com­mu­ni­ty radio sec­tor, and in the media sec­tor more in gen­er­al, con­sid­ers the fol­low­ing aspects as top pri­or­i­ties: wom­en’s access to the air­waves, wom­en’s rep­re­sen­ta­tion on air, the spe­cial needs of minor­i­ty women, wom­en’s rep­re­sen­ta­tion at all lev­els of sta­tion man­age­ment, use of appro­pri­ate tech­nol­o­gy, fund­ing and capac­i­ty build­ing for wom­en’s radio.

The ben­e­fits of gen­der equal­i­ty are not just for women and girls, but for every­one whose lives will be changed by a fair­er world that leaves no one behind”, says Phumzile Mlam­bo-Ngcu­ka, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of UN Women. In this respect, com­mu­ni­ty media are key actors for achiev­ing gen­der equal­i­ty.

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