Broadcasters and media representatives have presented an official statement calling for greater inclusion of women, girls and people with disabilities in media. The statement was agreed at a forum as part of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union general assembly in Hanoi, Vietnam, which ended today. Moneeza Hashmi, CBA President, was a key participant in the high-level forum.

The Hanoi Statement stresses the crucial role that media has to play in promoting women and persons with disabilities’ full participation in every aspect of life and society, both in terms of media access and representation. The meeting, called “Women With the Wave” builds on the framework created at the inaugural forum in Seoul last year.

Moneeza Hashmi (left) said that the event had highlighted case studies around the world where women in the media are facing challenges: “The digital wave and new technology were also very much in the forefront of all the sessions,” she said. “Women with disabilities need to paid more attention to even though they are making their presence felt,” citing the example of  the documentary clips shown at the forum by Attitude Films of New Zealand.

The statement called for support from those at the forum as well as governments, regional training institutions such as the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development, industry, NGOs and higher education institutions.

It incorporates a list of action points which includes: using the Broadcasting for All – Focus on Gender guidelines; access to training and digital media; more balanced content in the portrayal of girls, women and people with disabilities; and the  greater use of accessible broadcasting tools and making early warning system and disaster risk reduction programmes easier to access.

The Hanoi Declaration which was passed by all delegates at the end of the day pledges to uphold the rights of women especially with disabilities and ensures all possible support to making women more independent.