A number of male and female journalists, Jurists, and feminist activists recommended on the importance of strengthening the role of women in the media so as to enable the women journalists to reach the decision-making positions in the Palestinian media, and to develop the gender sensitivity among workers in the media, which would change the awareness of male and female journalists towards a genuine belief in the concepts of social justice.



Participants in the conference "role of media in promoting women's rights" which organized by the Palestinian Institute for communication and development within the project "Strengthening women's issues in the local media" funded by the United Nations Development Programme / Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian people recommended on the need of the real media role in women awareness of her political rights and duties, and ensure the right of expressing their opinion  in political issues through various media.



The participants at the conference which was held in Hotel "Grand Palace" in Gaza on Tuesday 12/6/2011, mention the contribution to the restructuring of the mental image of a society for women and their role, concerns and aspirations, in addition to the rejection of all forms of discrimination and bullying against women, and warned of repercussions on the whole society.



"The Board of Directors share with activists and community activists and civil society organizations all sense of size exclusion suffered by women, was still, and the intended ignoring some times and a reason of  male culture society other times, which contributed to the absence of issues of women", The Treasurer of the Palestinian Institute for communication and development and the journalist Samah Al namla, said .



Alnamla added, that the marginalized and the oppressed victims of the occupation became marginalize each other, and discriminates on the basis of sex in the time of the occupation does not distinguish between us on what basis.



She  considered that everyone who belong to the Palestinian society and the details of his daily life is aware that the woman was, and is still, one of the most important elements of steadfastness, and the decisive factor in it, and as a part of  being a victim, by men, so she is the one who bear the real consequences of the illegal siege which imposed by the Israeli occupation authorities on the Gaza Strip since many years, and she is the one who has the negative impact of the biggest phenomena in the spread of unemployment and poverty, so it should not be allowed to absent her or  absent the attention to their issues in our local and non-local media, but must be re-mind them.



Alnamla thanked the United Nations Development Programme and its officials to fund the project.



The Director of the programs in the United Nations Development Programme, Basel Nasser, announced  that the program will continue to support projects aimed at achieving sustainable development in the Palestinian society.



" The problems faced by Palestinian women, and ways to overcome them, stressing the need to work by women and men alike in order to achieve women's rights and objectives", Nasser pointed out.



Nasser praised the efforts of the Palestinian Institute for the success of the project and the conference, expressing the hope that is to overcome the problems facing women and journalists women.



The conference included two sessions, the first was managed  by the  journalist Lana Shaheen, and included two working papers, the first entitled "Violence against women in the media" by journalist and activist Rasha Farhat, and the second entitled "Discrimination against women in the media" journalist Samar Shaheen.



"The media can exercise an effective role in combating violence against women through a number of measures and efforts, most notably the continuous contact between the media and organizations, which working on women's rights, and to work on a national level in this field, in addition to the establishment of an Arab media committee to combat violence against women., and the trend towards drama as a positive service to women's issues", Farhat said.



Farhat called for the formation of Arab and international coalitions sections to support the campaign law of protecting battered women, and finding funding for public information campaigns to broadcast specific messages to the definition of violence, its forms and also methods of treatment.



She demanded the cooperation of the media with the civil society activists, in order to change the status of women in public and private life, by changing the reality of secrecy and confidentiality, and to show the facts to the people and decision makers, and encourage women to report the violence that they faced, and work on a framework of information for advocating women's issues. And reconsidering what the media broadcast, and urged them to change the stereotyped image of women.



She stressed the importance of strengthening the role of religious institutions, and encourage the adoption of religious discourse and enlightened, and take advantage of the religious scholars, preachers and religious workers, to condemn the phenomenon that is not consistent with the law and religion in letter and destination.



Farhat confirmed the development and improvement the role of the media, especially local radio stations broadcast in offer and provide forms and manifestations of violence against women, whether it is domestic violence or community violence, physical or psychological, physical or mental, and its negative effects on individual growth and progress of society, as well as to integrate concepts of human rights and gender equality in school curricula and programs targeting college students awareness and guidance on the effects and risks of violence and approval of educational courses and educational about the culture of women's rights and combat the phenomenon of violence against them.



Shaheen recommended in her paper approving media policy contribute to the elimination of discrimination used against women and its causes and its image in the media, and greater reliance on the forms and technical templates which achieve the interactive, and allows the potential of the analysis and interpretation and away from the processors partial and marginal.



She  recommended of media policy include the preparation of plans and studied programs taking into account the balance in the presentation of the roles, achievements and responsibilities of the Palestinian women, in order to shape a vision for community fair to women's roles and responsibilities, as well as giving more space to display women's issues in alignment with the reality of Palestinian women, and give the issues and topics relating to the development and advancement of women, healthily  , educational and culturally, politically and developmentally more media attention.



The second session which managed by the journalist Hanan Abu Deguem, included two  working papers, the first entitled "The fact of women's issues in the media" by journalist and human rights Shirin Shobaki, and the second entitled "ways to promote women's issues in the media" by journalist and activist Samia Al-Zubaidi.



Shobaki reviewed the images of women in the Palestinian media, including a negative divided image because of the Palestinian division.



She pointed to the image of a woman's body not as a Palestinian woman, pointing out that the Palestinian media was showing the stereotype of women but it displays the image of women as more conservative to fit with the customs and traditions of the society and it does not depend on the image of women the female as a body and the lure of the same degree that appear in the Arab and Western media.



She pointed to the image of the oppressed, prohibited, weak and weeping women, and the image of woman as mother , wife or a relevant to a martyr, and the image of women that suffer from the demolition of homes, poverty and deprivation and a hard reality, illiteracy and unconscious and unorganized.



She pointed to the absence of good examples of women from the media, as well as standardization in the presentation of success stories, and even they consider it as too much to women.



She considered that the available space is insufficient, and seasonal and that the presence of media space is limited to the issues of women in the media itself to different part of the module, as well as the absence of social issues.



Shobaki recommended the owners of  media institution to give women's issues  the constant space and appropriate to improve the role of women in the community and its issues in general; and urged the media to work on the transfer of the reality of women's issues boldly ,to contribute in create of public opinion effectively for the advancement of women and the realization of their rights effectively in the Palestinian society; and to work seriously to develop the traditional legacy media to reflect the image of women in the arts of cooking, children and fashion to show the role of active women and productive and influential.



" Woman is part of Palestinian society and therefore should not be addressing women's issues in isolation of the Palestinian community and it's social concerns, economic, cultural, and work on evaluating  media performance towards women's issues and community issues in general and try to guide her to serve the community and contributes to the rise and development; and to develop the abilities, knowledge and working skills in the media field as it contributes in the dissemination and promotion of women's rights; and address women's problematic, such as the Personal Status Law and the Penal Code, and to work in-depth on offering social and personal crimes committed against women and not to look at it quickly and traded under the name of honor crimes", Shobaki stressed.



About promoting women's issues in the local media ,al-Zubaidi was considered that the key lies in two parallel layers, the first in the maker of the media message by enabling female journalists to access the decision-making positions in the Palestinian media on the one hand, and the development of gender sensitivity among workers in the media industry, by changing the male awareness of male and female journalists, to true faith in the concepts of community justice, and the role of media in promoting these concepts that do not serve women and their rights, but the entire community on the other hand, the second is the message of media through the promotion of women's issues in the media.



"In the field of media discourse on the political level, media should carry out a real role on the level of awareness of women's political rights and duties, and support the right of access the national, judicial, legislative, local, partial, the civil and private institution , to highlight their role and continued struggles side by side with men in the face of the occupation and to ensure their right to express their opinions in political issues through various media", Zubaidi said.



In the media discourse on the community level, she considered that it must contribute to the restructuring of the mental image of the society about women and their roles, concerns and aspirations, and display their different roles, and restore respect for farmers and rural women who are marginalized in the media, and to shed light on the issues of young women and older women.

In the area of ​​media discourse on the economic level, it must deepen and promote women's right to access the resources and economic assets on one hand, and the right to work and participate in the process of economic development on the other hand, and to aware women and community in the local and international economic support programs, and expand their horizons on the areas of productive work available (not traditional).



She demanding that the media discourse on the legal level must include  women's awareness of their legal rights, and society of the limitations of legal conflict with the interests of women and family, and support their right in personal law status as a just and humane, and modify all the unjust laws right at this level, revealing the shortcomings of the executive branch of the law and its provisions starting at the police station and not ending of the competent court to abide by the spirit of laws and texts in enabling women to obtain their legal rights without procrastination or misuse or compromise, and to shed light on the issues of women's legal on the one hand, and the role of  lawyer and judge women on the other hand.



She pointed to the media discourse on health and cultural levels and the need to give it more attention.



Zubaidi proposed to organize a media and a national strategy,and to creat an Observatory feminist media, and to re- organize  the best media work contest on women's issues, which was the Palestinian Institute for communication and development the first initiator by organizing it during the year.



The conference concluded with the chairman of the Palestinian Institute for communication and development, the journalist Fathi Sabah, by announce the adoption of a proposal to form a coalition "Journalists to promote women's rights."



Sabah called to work on the completion of further studies, researches and statistics on women's issues, in addition to working to achieve a true partnership between media organizations and women's institutions.



And he announced the readiness of the Institute to host journalists together in the Institute's headquarters to discuss professional topics and issues concerning on women and female journalists.



He called for coordination between the Institute and women's organizations to play a real role in promoting women's issues and achieve their rights.

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