|Media representation of women is an issue for the churches|
|Written by Philip Lee, WACC Deputy Director of Programs|
|Wednesday, 25 May 2011 12:22|
Ms Michel offered the practical example of lobbying for more places for women experts on Haiti’s Commission on Disarmament so that it hears at first hand about the difficulties facing women in conflict situations.
WACC organized the workshop in solidarity with the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (IEPC) of the World Council of Churches (WCC), held in Kingston, Jamaica, 17-25 May 2011.
The one-and-a-half-hour session was led by Jéruscha Vasti Michel, a young Haitian woman communicator who studied social communication at the University of Haiti. She is currently chairperson of the administrative council of Sosyete Animasyon Kominikasyon Sosyal (SAKS) and works for the Jesuit Refugee Service on questions affecting migrants between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
SAKS is a WACC project partner that uses popular communication to assist the Haitian people – both rural and urban – to participate as actors in their own development. Following the 2010 earthquake, WACC’s Haiti Appeal helped SAKS rebuild some of its community media activities.
Ms Michel identified one of the gravest problems facing Haiti as the weakness of its government and civil society institutions. She said, “People have no confidence in the judiciary system and so have no legal remedy against violence and corruption. In this regard, community radio stations play a key role in informing people, especially as they broadcast in Kreyòl.”
The IEPC workshop focused on the unbalanced representation of women in the media and how it relates to women’s absence from decision-making around the best ways to resolve conflict and strengthen peace. Participants discussed the findings of WACC’s Global Media Monitoring Project 2010 (GMMP) in the context of applying United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325.
UNSCR 1325 is a landmark resolution on women and peace and security. It reaffirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, peace-keeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction. In particular, the resolution stresses the need for women’s equal participation and full involvement in all efforts to maintain and promote peace and security.
The International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (IEPC) explored the concept of “just peace” from the perspective of four themes: Peace in the Community – so that all may live free from fear; Peace with the Earth – so that life is sustained; Peace in the Marketplace – so that all may live with dignity; and Peace among the Peoples – so that human lives are protected.
The IEPC will influence the agenda of the next WCC Assembly, which will take place in Busan, South Korea, 2013, with the theme "God of life, lead us to justice and peace".
For further information about the IEPC, visit here.
For further information about the Global Media Monitoring Project, visit here.