MINISTER OF STATE FOR MEDIA AFFAIRS OPENS DIGITAL FORUM ON WOMEN IN MEDIA AND GENDER-SENSITIVE REPORTING DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Date: Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Amman, Jordan. Under the framework of Jordan’s National Action Plan (JONAP) implementing the UN Security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, the Government of Jordan, with the support of the Jordanian National Commission for Women and UN Women, launched a ‘Digital Forum on Women in Media and Gender-Sensitive Reporting During the COVID-19 Pandemic’.

Key representatives from the regional media landscape, civil society organizations and representatives of academic institutions took part in the event, discussing the fundamental connections between pandemics, journalism and gender equality, as well as the role of gender-sensitive reporting during crises such as the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Keynote speeches were delivered by the Secretary-General of the Jordanian National Commission for Women, Dr. Salma Nims, UN Women Representative in Jordan, Mr. Ziad Sheikh, the British Ambassador to Jordan, H.E. Mr. Edward Oakden, and the Minister of State for Media Affairs and Government Spokesperson, H. E. Mr. Amjad Odeh Adaileh on behalf of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Women’s Empowerment.

During his opening remarks, the State Minister for Media Affairs, H.E. Mr. Amjad Al-Adayleh, emphasized the role of Jordanian women in facing the Corona pandemic alongside men in various fields, whether as media professionals, doctors, nurses, or members of the security services, and he also praised the exceptional efforts made by women media colleagues during the Corona pandemic.

Dr. Salma Al Nims emphasized the importance of the role of Jordanian media, especially women in media, in shedding light on women's issues. During the corona pandemic, media in Jordan played a critical role in communicating essential information, highlighting challenges and their solutions. This is in addition to their presence in the field as frontline workers. Media also represent an essential partner in the implementation of Jordan’s National Action Plan on UNSCr1325 (JONAP). JNCW has developed a dedicated JONAP Communication Strategy, which highlights the importance of gender-sensitive media reporting and the role of female media professionals as influencers and actors on women's issues, peace and security.

The British Ambassador to Jordan, H.E. Mr. Edward Oakden affirmed: “We know that women have played and are continuing to play a key role in responding to the C-19 crisis, in Jordan as around the world. This is true in the security sector as elsewhere. We see it every day, as women help to police our streets, to staff the hospitals, to provide frontline essential health services, and by taking on extra duties at home, eg for their children’s home-schooling.  But we need to give women’s key role extra visibility, so that everyone sees the reality of the scale of women’s contribution on a daily basis. Journalists decide what stories to writeand have a key role in providing this visibility. This conference will shine a very helpful spotlight on how in practical terms to achieve such visibility”.

"Women media professionals in Jordan played a key role in both raising awareness on COVID-19 as well as in narrating the ‘new normal’, creating a sense of unity and solidarity," affirmed Mr. Ziad Sheikh, UN Women Jordan Representative. ‘The outbreak has further demonstrated the centrality and relevance of the Women, Peace and Security agenda, and media are essential partners in placing women’s leadership and contributions at the heart of the COVID-19 response, resilience, and recovery efforts’ he added.

The forum also included two panel discussions with prominent Jordanian and regional media professionals. The first panel focused on the role of women as frontline responders during the COVID-19 pandemic and will be moderated by Ghada Saba. The Vice President of CNN, Caroline Faraj, renowned Lebanese journalist Giselle Khoury from BBC Arabic, and Shad Tarawneh from Al-Mamlaka television also participated in this discussion. The second panel addressed issues related to gender-sensitive reporting during crises. Haniyeh Al-Dmour moderated this discussion with the participation of Jordanian journalist and activist Rana Al-Husseini from the Jordan Times, journalist Samar Haddadin from Al-Rai, and journalist Rania Al-Sarayrah from Al-Ghad newspaper.

This initiative is part of a series of activities under the JONAP Communication Strategy adopted by the Government in December 2019. The overall goal of the JONAP is to contribute to Jordan’s stability and security by improving operational security responses, as well as ensuring that the framework through which Jordan approaches peace and security issues address gender equality and women’s rights. JNCW and UN Women are providing coordination and technical assistance to the Government in the JONAP implementation, with the generous support of the Governments of Canada, Finland, Norway, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Available in Arabic here.

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Susan Al Hilo

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susan.alhilo@unwomen.org