MGEC launches revised Gender-Fair Media Guidebook

The Media and Gender Equality Committee (MGEC) launched a new guidebook that seeks to eliminate gender stereotyping and promotes gender balance in the participation and representation of women and men across various forms of media and communication.

Launched on December 15 at the Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros, Manila the “Gender-Fair Media Guidebook (GFMG)” is a practical reference for the media in recalibrating their practice to promote gender sensitivity in all their core processes including the conceptualization, creation, presentation and distribution of media products. It presents current media landscape on reporting women’s situations, provides relative laws on women’s rights and gives practical tools to evaluate the gender sensitivity of the contents.

The development of the GFMG started in August 2017 through a co-creation and validation workshop with key media organizations and communication-focused civil society organizations. The activity aimed to include women’s issues in online and social media, and other emerging issues, which were not captured during the development of the old “Towards a Gender-Fair Media” Guidebook launched in 2013.

Ease of use and comprehensive

PCW Commissioner for Media and the Arts Noreen B. Capili shared that the new guidebook is something more practical and useful.

She noted in her presentation during the launch that from having three separate books, the new guidebook was collapsed into a single document with three parts – Part 1: Setting the Context, Part 2: Practical Guide, and Part 3: Self-Assessment Tools – that gives media practitioners ease of use and access to information on basic gender and development concepts and legal mandates on women’s rights.

Aside from the comprehensive compilation of policies and gender concepts, which is hoped to start a change in perspective, the guidebook also possesses a tip on gender-fair language and gender-fairness checklists for news content, entertainment content, advertising content, and communication materials.

In a separate statement, PCW Executive Director Emmeline L. Verzosa expressed her gratitude towards the media practitioners, self-regulatory body representatives and CSOs who dedicated their time and expertise to revise and update the guidebook.

“Our collaboration is a major leap towards the attainment of gender-fairness in the Philippine media as we take cognizance of media’s powerful role in the society. When we sensitize the media, it would be easier for us to sensitize our community.”

In a separate message, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Assistant Secretary Maria Ana Paz Banaag said that government and private media should work hand-in-hand in pushing for positive changes in our society.

 “As we deal with current transformations in communications, we should not only create awareness but acceptance and commitment to our role as responsible communicators that may have implications for relations among women in government, media and our fellow Filipinos,” Banaag said.

The MGEC is an inter-agency mechanism mandated by the Magna Carta of Women (MCW) to ensure women’s equal portrayal in media and film. The Committee is composed of the PCOO, the PCW, Movie Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Optical Media Board (OMB), Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) and Film Academy of the Philippines.