Conveying concerns: women report on gender-based violence
Some articles and scripts have been adapted for this booklet and appear in five sections, each with a brief introduction. The first section looks at domestic violence and is followed by sections on sexual abuse, female genital cutting, laws and policies related to gender-based violence, and the role of the media. The 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing highlighted a scourge that preys on women and girls across cultures. The issue is gender-based violence—a manifestation of the social, psychological, and economic subordination of women that remains largely hidden from view. Whether trafficking in girls, sexual intimidation at work, rape, or battery in the home, gender-based violence cuts across social and economic divisions. The problem breeds in silence and finds legitimacy through cultural norms. Over the last two decades, however, recognition of the problem has increased. The Platform for Action adopted in Beijing sets out an agenda for eliminating and preventing the problem. The solutions are not simple. Attitudes must change. This booklet, which conveys a range of themes on gender-based violence from the perspective of women journalists, reflects the issue’s complexity. The booklet is the third in a series, compiled through the Women’s Edition project, a unique effort to bring together women from the media in developing countries. In October 1998, the Population Reference Bureau brought senior journalists from nine countries to New York City to discuss gender-based violence. The journalists subsequently produced special supplements in their newspapers and magazines as well as programs on radio and television that highlighted local and international aspects of the issue. (See a description of Women’s Edition on page 35.) The articles and scripts have been adapted for this booklet and appear in five sections, each with a brief introduction. The first section looks at domestic violence and is followed by sections on sexual abuse, female genital cutting, laws and policies related to gender-based violence, and the role of the media. Though the articles and scripts were produced in countries of varying cultural and economic situations, they share a common thread: The media, as major purveyors of society’s images, can play a key role in breaking down stereotypes and negative attitudes toward women.
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