In a letter addressed to UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet, former president of Chile, WACC said it supports the agency’s vision to work for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls and argues that integrating efforts to foster women’s communication rights into the agency’s goals “increases the possibility of achieving deeper, structural and long-term change.”
“We urge UN Women to intentionally advance efforts to secure women’s communication rights that empower women to express their needs, make themselves heard, and take charge of their own progress”, says the letter addressed to Bachelet.
The letter, signed by the WACC General Secretary, The Rev. Karin Achtelstetter, further states that UN Women’s vision of providing women and girls with “a powerful voice” resonates with WACC’s pursuit of the right to communicate, particularly for the historically marginalized, the majority of whom are women.
Over the years, WACC has consistently expressed concern about equal and affordable access to communication and knowledge, media and gender justice, and the relationship between communication and power.
Through its Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) launched in 1995, WACC has conducted research studies mapping progress in gender portrayal and representation in the world’s news media.
Its recent report launched Sept. 29 states that 76% of the people heard or read about in the world’s news are male. The report was financially supported by UNIFEM (United Nations Development Fund for Women).
Through GMMP, WACC has collaborated with UNIFEM’s country offices to draw up an agenda for women’s communication rights in practice.
UN Women was created in July 2010 by the United Nations General Assembly as the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. Its main roles are:
- to support inter-governmental bodies, such as the Commission on the Status of Women, in their formulation of policies, global standards and norms;
- to help Member States to implement these standards, standing ready to provide suitable technical and financial support to those countries that request it and to forge effective partnerships with civil society and
- to hold the UN system accountable for its own commitments on gender equality, including regular monitoring of system-wide progress.