WAN-IFRA gets EUR 7 million fund for its Women in News program

Promoting gender equality in news media

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Photo - WAN IFRA
Photo - WAN IFRA

A 4-year grant from Sida, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, will enable WAN-IFRA’s Women in News program to expand to new markets, launch global research initiatives and build internal capacity to operate the program throughout the Arab region and Sub-Saharan Africa. The grant is the largest received to date by WAN-IFRA in support of its media freedom work. It marks the continuation of a nearly decade-long partnership with Sida.

Information, alongside universal suffrage, is the opinion of all in the service of the government of all. But what happens if women are under-represented in the making of news and in the news? WAN-IFRA and its funding partners believe that this gap and the disparities between men and women within the global news media industry alarmingly undermine the contribution the media can have on democratic development and human rights. Through Women in News, WAN-IFRA intends to continue to lead the conversation and push for change amongst its membership base and globally.

“We are humbled by this measure of support from Sida, and excited about the prospects for continued expansion and impact. We launched Women in News (WIN) almost ten years ago on a shoestring budget and a novel approach. As the program has evolved, we’ve never lost sight of the program’s essence, that of local ownership and community. The success of Women in News is a testament to an expansive community of advocates and champions of Women in News who contribute to the program because of their fundamental belief that gender equality is a human right, and the media has a pivotal role in making this belief a reality,” said Melanie Walker, head of Women in News and WAN-IFRA’s director for Media Development

“We are an industry that continues to trail behind others when it comes to diversity and inclusion. Our Women in News program is dedicated to correcting the current imbalance, educate and sensitize media organizations to the financial and normative imperatives of striving for gender balance and equality,” added Vincent Peyregne, chief executive officer of WAN-IFRA.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

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