OUT NOW | PMA’s gender-sensitive action plans for SEA media stakeholders

07th December 2023
Action plans designed to boost gender-sensitive reporting and foster collaborations between media houses and NGOs have been unveiled by the Public Media Alliance.

The launch of the action plans – geared at media stakeholders in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand – coincided with the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence, which runs from 25 November to 10 December 2023. This year, the observance’s theme is “UNITE! Invest to prevent violence against women and girls”.

In her keynote speech at the launch event held on 6 December, Arianne Olegario, Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Advisor with Internews, emphasised the need for stakeholders to constantly reflect upon their work and improve upon their approaches. She stressed too the positive impact the media can have on reporting on issues such as sexual violence against women, and the ability of news media to empower audiences and transform society.

Ms. Olegario also noted efforts around the world – including the launch of PMA’s action plans – and stressed that the work being done is “slowly building not just our consciousnesses but our media landscape.”

Her points aligned with those made by Nad Bunnag, a news presenter and reporter at Thai PBS World. During an impassioned speech, Ms. Bunnag shared her insights on the Thai media landscape and stressed that while progress has been made in the representation of gender issues in the media, significant progress was still needed. She also shared her challenges with reporting on gender issues, which included battling online trolls and pushing back against patriarchal views held by the public.

“This project, developed with thanks to our regional workshop participants, partners and facilitators, will help to support news media in implementing effective policies and standards in reporting on gender sensitive issues, concerns and events, as well as journalist safety, and improve what should ideally be a level playing field in the way we report news,” said Kristian Porter, PMA’s CEO, during the launch event.

Catch up with the entire event:


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PMA’s new action plans outline approaches that foster collaboration and address common challenges related to gender-sensitive reporting, women’s safety, and responsible media practices across the diverse media landscapes of Southeast Asia. The plans offer collective initiatives for media workers, NGOs, policymakers, religious institutions, and the broader public in the region to undertake.

The action plans were developed during PMA’s gender-sensitivity workshop held from 3-4 October in Bangkok, Thailand. The workshop set out to build the capacity of 20 gender-focused NGOs and media workers to better raise awareness on gender discrimination and gender-based censorship within the media and to develop their skills to combat gender-related issues, including violence against women and girls (VAWG). The workshop also provided the opportunity for participants to network with their regional counterparts and develop country-specific action plans that would contribute towards more effective and gender-sensitive reporting.

While the action plans were developed individually, there were common points and themes identified across the five country-specific action plans. Among the common action points highlighted in the plans are:

  • The need to build engagement and collaborations;
  • Advocacy for gender-responsive policies and guidelines;
  • The need to establish data collection and reporting systems;
  • The importance of intersectional approaches to gender issues; and
  • The implementation of newsroom safety protocols and support for women journalists.

The plans have been translated into Indonesian, Malay, Filipino, Mandarin, Tamil, and Thai. An English version encompassing all countries is also available. All versions of the action plan can be found on PMA’s publications page and our dedicated project page.

The action plans precede the release of a situation report on gender-sensitive reporting in the Southeast Asian media landscape. Preliminary research findings were shared during today’s event by Project & Research Facilitator, Dagmar Skopalik. The final situation report will be available on 15 December.

Both the action plans and the situation report form part of a wider project targeting Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. The “Violence against women – Bringing about changes in social attitudes and gender equity through enabling greater media participation” project was spearheaded by the Public Media Alliance with support from the UNESCO Bangkok Office and UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), and saw partnerships with AWARE Singapore, Konde.co, and the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand.