Support awareness raising (including civic education campaigns and trainings) against gender stereotyping and violence against women

Persistent gender inequalities in society can find an echo in media – both in traditional and in social media – oftentimes taking the form of stereotyped representations of men and women.  Research also shows that female reporters often suffer from gender stereotypes within media houses and outlets and risk having little or less influence on the content of the coverage. Weak presence of women among the companies’ staff, especially in management positions can also contribute to this, and news articles focused specifically on issues related to gender equality and discrimination may find difficulties in getting approval for publishing. In addition, with the rapid growth of social media, and the rise of generative AI – software that can create highly convincing content – entering the public domain, we see an increase in disinformation and harmful speech appearing online, including content targeting female candidates or distributing harmful messages discrediting gender equality and perpetuating negative stereotypes.

ACTIVITY

DESCRIPTION

A deep dive into women’s representation in the media conducted by the Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) in 2015 showcased that women only accounted for “24% of the persons read, heard about or seen in newspaper, television or radio news”.  Women rarely appeared as experts (19 percent of all experts), spokespersons (20 percent), subjects (26 percent) or eye witnesses (30 percent), and were also under-represented when sharing popular opinions (37 percent) and sharing of personal experience (38 percent). Furthermore, the study showed that 16 percent of women appearing in the news were portrayed as victims.

This is also critical to note for electoral processes as gendered disinformation not only is on the rise, but continue to negatively impact, and at times even hinder, women’s full and active participation in electoral processes. Awareness raising campaigns, trainings and other forms of civic education can help debunk gendered myths and disinformation being spread offline and online, as well as foster other narratives that are positive towards women’s partaking in political life. Awareness-raising around  gender stereotyping in media is also a well-proven and longstanding tool to tackle persistent biases. Given the rapid growth of social media and the rise of AI, including generative AI. it is more important than ever before to deploy and, where possible, to scale up. It is critical that such awareness-raising campaigns are  gender sensitive and inclusive of a variety of perspectives. 

ACTIVITY CONSIDERATIONS

  • How to help support and facilitate gender-sensitive awareness-raising campaigns?

Define objectives:

  • Clearly articulate the goals and objectives of the campaign. Are you aiming to raise awareness, change attitudes, promote specific behaviors, or advocate for policy change?

Target audience: 

  • Identify the specific demographics you want to reach with your campaign. Consider age, gender, socio-economic background, location, etc.

Research:

  • Conduct thorough research on gender stereotyping and violence against women to understand the issues, causes, and potential solutions.
  • Gather gender-disaggregated data and statistics to support your messaging.

Develop key messages:

  • Craft clear, concise, and impactful messages that address gender stereotypes and violence against women.
  • Ensure messages are tailored to resonate with your target audience.

Communications: 

  • Select appropriate communication channels to reach your target audience effectively. This may include social media, traditional media (TV, radio, newspapers), community events, workshops, etc.

Develop awareness-raising and campaign materials:

  • Develop visually engaging and informative materials such as posters, flyers, brochures, videos, infographics, and social media graphics.
  • Ensure all materials are culturally sensitive and inclusive. For example, do a thorough check that stakeholders from also marginalized groups, including women, youth, indigenous people, have been consulted on the development of the material. 

Engage stakeholders:

  • Identify and engage relevant stakeholders such as community leaders, CSOs, government agencies and media outlets. Collaborate with these stakeholders to amplify the campaign’s reach and impact.

Awareness-raising events:

  • Plan and execute events and activities to raise awareness and engage the community. This could include workshops, seminars, panel discussions, film screenings, art exhibitions, marches, etc.

Trainings: 

  • Provide training and capacity-building sessions for volunteers, activists, and community members involved in the campaign.
  • Equip them with the knowledge and skills to effectively communicate the campaign messages and address gender stereotypes and violence against women.

Evaluation and Monitoring:

  • Establish metrics to measure the success of the campaign, such as reach, engagement, attitude change, behavior change, etc.
  • Continuously monitor and evaluate the campaign’s progress to make necessary adjustments and improvements.

Feedback: 

  • Encourage feedback from participants, stakeholders, and the community to learn from the campaign’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Ensure follow-up discussions to reflect on the campaign’s outcomes and identify areas for improvement in future initiatives.

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WHO IS BEST PLACED TO IMPLEMENT THIS?

Any practitioner working in electoral assistance may support an awareness-raising campaign, often designed and implemented by NGOs and civil society partners centralizing women’s empowerment in their work, and ideally in close collaboration with the media. Generally, bringing in a number of actors will be beneficial as it not only brings weight to the campaign, but also serves to ensure a wide reach. Engaging men in the design and roll-out of the campaigns is very meaningful. Gender ministries may also be involved and can serve as the lead entity.

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HOW TO COORDINATE WITH OTHER ACTORS/WHICH OTHER STAKEHOLDERS TO INVOLVE?

Typical partners include media houses and platforms, including online platform. It is critical to engage both traditional “offline” media houses and tools, such as radio and newspapers, as well as engage with social media organizations. 

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COST CENTRES

It is difficult to advise upon costings without a clear vision of a particular project, however, notably, the main costs to take into consideration would be related to design of the campaign (workshops; graphic designer) and dissemination and outreach (printing costs for flyers and posters, airtime (radio and tv), social media campaigns on Facebook and other platforms)

LIMITATIONS AND CHALLENGES

RESOURCES

EXAMPLES

International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) training

International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) is a global research institute that focuses on gender equity, social inclusion, and sustainable development and has developed various training programs and initiatives to build capacity and empower individuals and organizations to promote gender equality. One of their notable programs is the “Gender Equity Training Program,” which is designed to provide participants with the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to integrate gender perspectives into their work and advocate for gender equality. Key components of ICRW’s Gender Equity Training Program usually include:

  1. Understanding gender equality: Providing participants with a foundational understanding of gender concepts, including gender roles, gender identity, and gender-based discrimination.
  1. Analyzing gender inequality: Exploring the root causes and manifestations of gender inequality in different contexts, such as education, health, economic empowerment, and political participation.
  1. Promoting gender-responsive approaches: Introducing participants to gender-responsive approaches and strategies for mainstreaming gender considerations into programs, policies, and projects.
  1. Addressing gender-based violence:Equipping participants with knowledge and skills to recognize, prevent, and respond to gender-based violence, including intimate partner violence, sexual harassment, and harmful traditional practices.
  1. Advocating: Building advocacy skills among participants to engage policymakers, stakeholders, and the broader community in promoting gender equality and advancing women’s rights.
  1. Monitoring and Evaluation: Providing guidance on integrating gender-sensitive monitoring and evaluation frameworks to assess the impact of programs and initiatives on gender equality outcomes.

 

Example: HeForShe Campaign (UN Women)

The United Nations’ “HeForShe” campaign, initiated by UN Women in 2014 is a global solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to stand up against gender inequality and discrimination faced by women and girls. The campaign emphasizes the importance of engaging men as allies and advocates for gender equality.

https://www.heforshe.org/en

IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS

COUNTRY DEPLOYMENTS

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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Information Integrity E-learning

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