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Media urged to promote gender equality, combat bias

MANILA, (PIA) -- A gender and development (GAD) expert on Monday called for greater media representation and responsible reporting on gender issues.

"While progress has been made, the battle for gender equality is far from won," said Alvin Cloyd H. Dakis, a member of the GAD Resource Pool, Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), when he talked about gender equality to kick off the National Women's Month Celebration (NWMC) at the Philippine Information Agency in Quezon City.

Dakis emphasized the media's crucial role in dismantling harmful stereotypes and fostering a more inclusive society, highlighting the ongoing struggle for equal opportunities and recognition for women.

He also criticized a recent incident where an agency portrayed men running in stilettos as a celebration of Women's Month. "This reinforces gender stereotypes and mocks the true struggles of women," Dakis asserted.

The media's responsibility extends beyond avoiding such portrayals, the guest speaker emphasized. He called for the promotion of diverse narratives showcasing women's achievements and leadership skills, fostering a nuanced understanding of gender issues.

Dakis also acknowledged social media's potential for advocacy and awareness campaigns, along with the need for responsible use. "We, as individuals and media organizations, must scrutinize our own biases and ensure our content reflects the diversity of our world," he stressed.

He, meanwhile, urged journalists to employ gender-sensitive reporting, avoid stereotypes and present information objectively. "Media can play a vital role in addressing issues like gender-based violence, discrimination, and unequal opportunities," he said.

Dakis also emphasized the financial and societal benefits of achieving gender equality, calling it "an investment in the future of humanity." He urged audiences to demand media inclusivity, challenge stereotypes, and support outlets promoting equality.

His speech concluded with a call to action: "Together, let's build a world where equality is not just a goal, but a reality. Where everyone, regardless of gender, can thrive and contribute to a prosperous community."

Every March, the NWMC highlights the extraordinary roles of women in society as active contributors to gender equality, change, and development.

Employees at PIA enhance their awareness on gender equality through a brief talk by Mr. Alvin Cloyd Dakis, keynote speaker during the kick-off ceremony of Women's Month celebration at the Philippine Information Agency office in Quezon City on Monday, March 4, 2024. (Photo by Jerome Carlo Paunan/PIA-NCR)

According to PIA Deputy Director-General for Regional Operations Adolfo Ares P. Gutierrez, who also chairs the GAD FPS-TWG, the 2024 NWMC bears the sub-theme, "Lipunang Patas sa Bagong Pilipinas; Kakayahan ng Kababaihan, Patutunayan" and aligns with the goals outlined in Chapter 15 of the National Policy Agenda to promote gender equality and women's empowerment. It envisions a new Philippines where women can rise above limiting gender norms and fully exercise their capabilities as equal partners in national development.

Gutierrez said that by emphasizing "Lipunang Patas sa Bagong Pilipinas” (Equal opportunities for all), the sub-theme advocates for a just society where women are valued for their merits and not constrained by discriminatory stereotypes. It calls for dismantling biases that prevent women from participating meaningfully in all spheres of life.

On the other hand, the slogan "Kakayahan ng Kababaihan, Patutunayan” (Women's abilities, we'll prove), further underscores that women have immense untapped potential waiting to be recognized. It is a rallying cry to showcase women's skills and talents, challenge preconceptions, and enable them to contribute substantially to the country's growth story, he added. (AVS/PIA-NCR)

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Alice Sicat

Information Officer IV


Assistant Regional Director of PIA-NCR

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