Doing gender, making change

The pre-conference will be organised in connection with ECREA

Karen Ross, Newcastle University (
Claudia Padovani, University of Padova (

Brief description

The idea for undertaking a global analysis of the place of women and men in the news was developed during the ‘Women Empowering Communication’ conference which was held in Bangkok in 1994 when several organisations including MediaWatch-Canada with support from WACC-UK and Status of Women Canada pledged to organise the project. The original aims were to explore where women and men featured in the news, both in terms of content and production, to build a network of gender and communication groups, to develop capacity in monitoring skills and construct a research methodology which could be implemented in a range of different national contexts.  Crucially, GMMP has always seen itself as an advocacy initiative, intent on raising awareness of key issues such as gender-based marginalisation, invisibility and stereotyping, amongst news media practitioners.  In 1995, volunteers in 71 countries undertook the first monitoring exercise and the findings were reported during the Women’s NGO forum in Beijing in September, a meeting which itself developed what has become known as the Beijing Platform for Action. Section J of the BPfA focuses explicitly on media and achieving its ambitions of equalising women’s representation in and access to the media remains at the heart of GMMP. Twenty years later, GMMP 2015 saw the participation of researchers in 114 countries and in 2020, the 6th iteration of GMMP will take place with (likely) the largest number of researchers ever involved. The GMMP remains the most comprehensive longitudinal study of gender and news and its methodology has been widely used to undertake other national and regional studies. 
Summarised findings from the past 20 years of GMMP feature as an important component in a series of recent initiatives: Advancing Gender Equality in Media Industries (AGEMI), Comparing Gender and Media Equality (GEM) and a UNESCO UniTWIN Network on Gender Media and ICT. Together, GMMP, AGEMI, GEM and the UniTWIN Network constitute important knowledge bases for understanding trends in gender/media research and each provide a range of resources (data, learning and teaching resources, searchable databases). They also resonate well with the ECREA/ECC 2020 conference theme of ‘Communication and Trust: building safe, sustainable and promising futures’ since they provide reliable resources with which to advocate and educate for a more gender-equal media environment and better future for all.

This pre-conference event constitutes an interactive forum for discussing some of the broad themes associated with the contemporary gender/media research and education landscape and has four primary aims:
a) to share preliminary findings from the 2020 iteration of GMMP
b) to discuss recent gender-media initiatives – AGEMI, GEM and the UniTWIN Network on Gender Media and ICT
c) to explore how projects such as GMMP, AGEMI, GEM and the UniTWIN Network can be used in advocating for change
d) to produce a 10-point Advocacy Plan for promoting Gender Equal News in Europe (GENiE) 

Preliminary Schedule

10:00 – 10:10 – Introduction
10:10 – 11:30 – GMMP 2020 – preliminary findings from 12 countries (5 mins thumbnail) and discussion
11:30 – 11:45 – Break
11:45 – 12:00 – AGEMI – a platform to disseminate good practices and knowledge on gender and media
12:00 – 12:15 – GEM – a database to explore interesections in gender and media
12:15 – 12:45 – Break (refreshments to be provided)
12:45 – 13:30 – UniTWIN Network on Gender Media and ICT – a syllabus for teaching gender and media, to integrate with or establish a new educational offer (follow up to an Euro-Mediterranean workshop supported by the UNESCO IPDC)
13:30 – 14:30 – discussion on the components of a 10-point Advocacy Plan for promoting Gender Equal News in Europe (GENiE)  (for circulation, refinement and circulation outside the pre-conference)


GMMP 2020
Brenda Murphy (Malta)
Cécile Méadel and Marlène Coulomb-Gully (France)
Cindy Carter (Wales/UK)
Claudia Padovani (Italy)
Daniela Roventa-Frumusani (Romania)
Elisabeth Eide (Norway)
Greta Gober (Poland) 
Jonita Siivonen (Finland)
Karen Ross (England/UK, European Coordinator for GMMP)
Maria Edström and Monika Djerf-Pierre (Sweden)
Rita Basilio de Simões and Maria João Silveirinha (Portugal)
Sara de Vuyst and Sofie Van Bauwel (Belgium)
Snjezana Milivojevic (Serbia)

Karen Ross
Claudia Padovani

Monika Djerf-Pierre
Maria Edstrom

UniTWIN Network on Gender, Media and ICT
Claudia Padovani
Francisco Garcia Ramos (tbc)
Karen Ross
Patricia Núñez Gómez (tbc)

Please contact the organisers if you would like to attend, so we can get a sense of numbers and plan refreshments. Also, please note that the venue will be close to where the conference opening reception will take place.