High Level Forum on Digital Inclusion of Women and Girls
Seoul, Republic of Korea
10th-11th October 2012
We, the participants in the Women With the Wave Gender Media Forum, held in Seoul, Korea on the 10th and 11th October, 2012, make this affirmation of commitment to its goals and outcomes and to the empowering of women through media and ICTs.
In thanking the organizers of the Forum, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU
), the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU
), the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS
) and other partners, we note that women and girls make up 50 per cent of the world’s population and that equal rights and opportunity underpin healthy economies and societies.
Further, we recognize that the media has a crucial role to play in promoting women’s full participation in every aspect of life and society and, to this end, we invite the ITU and the ABU to endorse this statement with a view to seeking to assist in the practical implementation of its recommendations.
We also call on intergovernmental agencies, in particular ITU, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific (ESCAP
), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO
) and UN Women (UNW
), professional associations of broadcasters, especially the ABU, regional training institutions, such as the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) and the Asian Media and Information Communication Centre (AMIC
), commercial businesses and Foundations, relevant NGOs and tertiary education institutions, including University journalism and communication departments, to take note of this statement and to undertake, where applicable, to provide support for its recommendations.
We are committed to promoting a gender inclusive media and information and communication technology (ICT) environment, that empowers women and girls to fully participate and give access to expression and decision-making in and through the media and new technologies of communication by being able to:
• work in the media and ICT fields across all levels and occupational groups on and off the screen;
• have access to technological and digital platforms;
• achieve a positive, non-stereotypical and balanced portrayal across all forms of media and technological platforms, including the recognition of women with ICT careers and girls who use ICTs for their empowerment.
Specifically, we declare support for the practical application across the region of the following agreed activities and outcomes of the Forum:
• implementation of the Broadcasting for All: Focus on Gender guidelines that include strategic and practical applications for use in media and ICT workplaces;
• encouragement for the determining of a framework for the broad provision of training and access to technological and digital media by women and girls;
• applying existing research, surveys and findings of the portrayal, stories, faces and voices of the female population across the region and formulating a broad strategy for the application of fair representations across organizations and platforms;
• championing media leaders who promote content and balanced images of girls and women;
• piloting UNESCO’s Gender Sensitive Indicators for Media (GSIM) as a practical tool to assess and encourage gender equality and women’s empowerment in media;
• collaborating with partners, such as the ITU, to promote women and girls in media and ICTs, including developing programming story lines with women in ICT careers and promoting the Women’s Digital Literacy Campaign;
• securing industry-wide commitments to take steps towards positive change to promote success stories on radio and television broadcasts;
• gaining specific attention and assistance, from the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) through its various specialized departments and its member organizations, to the needs of smaller media institutions (such as in island regions and remote areas), thus enabling out-reach to women and girls and their empowerment in marginalized societies;
• development and distribution of educational modules for use in secondary schools, tertiary education institutions and other scholastic agencies (and, where applicable, by distance learning modes and techniques) to introduce students to gender and media/ICT issues, and the role of media in society.
We recall the inspirational discourse of the two day ITU/ABU/KBS sponsored Women With the Wave Gender Forum and, in particular, the successful media and ICT case studies and models shared by speakers from throughout the region. The collegiality of fellow Forum participants, the professionalism of the videos and films they exhibited to the Forum, the commitment of keynote presenters and the atmosphere of optimism expressed by all present have reinforced our belief that affirmative action on the Forum recommendations is vital to ensuring the forward progress of the empowerment of women and girls through media and ICTs.
To this end, we call on all who can assist to recognize the digital wave now sweeping the world and to join us in supporting the preparation of women and girls for the opportunities and benefits which the knowledge society is now bringing to families worldwide and which will do so even more in the future.