The UniTWIN Network for Gender, Media and ICTs brings together 19 universities to promote gender equality in and through media on a global scale through research, education and participation.
The Network is uniquely placed to develop a truly intercultural and globally relevant curriculum, co-operating among countries and regions to bring together research and effective education, To organize this cooperation project, members of the UniTWIN met at Universidad de Costa Rica in San José on April 18-20, 2018.
The Project, supported by UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) and The Kingdom for the Netherlands, responds to an urgent need identified by UNESCO and the Network, to equip a new generation of media practitioners and journalists with gender-sensitive skills, so that gender equality can improve both in their workplaces and in the content they produce. The project centres around UNESCO's Gender Sensitive Indicators for Media and the IPDC's global initiative for excellence in journalism education.
The event included a two-day intensive planning meeting and a day of public engagement.
The Network presented the results of their global project to map the educational offerings on media, gender and ICTs. The panel discussed the Network’s project and the Network’s work with UNESCO to promote and implement the Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media, which provides a framework for gender equality in media operations and in the ways that gender is portrayed in media content.
The public session was opened with a message from Pilar Álvarez, Director of the UNESCO Office in San José. Also welcoming UniTWIN members were Dr. Isabel Vázquez, Director of UNAM Centro de Estudios Mexicanos at Costa Rica and authorities of the Universidad de Costa Rica; Vilma Peña, UNED and GMMP Costa Rica, Ana Xóchitl Alarcón, UCR and GMMP Costa Rica; and Journalist Natalia Díaz, who outlined her work on gender in the local media.
The UNITWIN Network on Gender, Media and ICTs initiative was launched by UNESCO in 2016, and is co-chaired by RMIT University in Australia, The National Autonomous University of Mexico and The University of Padova. Other universities participating in the global curriculum project are: SNDT Women's University (India), Complutense University Madrid (Spain), Hawassa University (Ethiopia), Howard University (USA), Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (Chile), Universidad Iberoamericana (República Dominicana), and Suriaga Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar (Ecuador).
Co-chair Lisa French from RMIT University said that “Our focus is on working together to support gender sensitive educational offerings and research that support gender equality globally. We have come up with an innovative and exciting structure that makes use of our Network from all regions and states”.
Ms Pilar Alvarez-Laso, Director of UNESCO’s office in San Jose, said the Network had a vital role to play in ensuring gender equality in the media, underlining that " the media are agents of change capable of significantly influencing the implementation of the sustainable development agenda and the promotion of a vision of women in accordance with the values and principles of equality and respect for their human rights”.
The UniTWIN Network will work together in the next two months to complete the development of a gender-sensitive Journalism, Media and ICT curriculum that could be adopted across countries and regions.
This project is supported within the framework of IPDC’s Global Initiative for Excellence in Journalism Education, which seeks to improve journalism education around the world.