16 June 2021

#GenderIDTalks, ALF Marathon for Dialogue in EuroMed: Panel 3 - Media & Advertising

On June 15 2021, the third live Panel of the #GenderIDTalks was held on GEYC's facebook page.

It was organised in partnership with Association la Voix de l'Enfant Rural -AVER / صوت الطفل الريفي and ANKA Youth Association in the frame of the Anna Lindh Foundation Virtual Marathon for Dialogue in EuroMed. For information on the last upcoming Panel click here.

During the Panel we explored the topic of "Media and Advertising", the challenges and opportunities of addressing gender stereotypes when it comes to these industries, and how the narratives influence our perception of the other genders.

The Panel gathered stakeholders from Europe and EuroMed Region. The guest speakers were:

  • Khadija Maalej:  Tunisian activist who advocates for Media for Social Change. Currently, she is managing projects with BBC Media Action North Africa. She has over ten years of experience in the fields of international development, peacekeeping, and inter-religious dialogue. She is a Search-Certified Common Ground Approach trainer and has facilitated a variety of training and workshops.

  • Kassem Istanbouli: Lebanese street theater performer, actor, comedian, and theater director. He has founded “Tiro Association for Arts” that organized a Short Films Festival in Lebanon every December for 4 days since 2014 and International Theatre and Music Festival in the South of Lebanon. Moreover he had Restored 3 cinemas in the South of Lebanon with his team of volunteers since 2014. He became a project manager for the artistic projects in Tiro Association for Arts in 2018.

  • Dr. Bilge Narin: academic in the field of journalism. She has received both her Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in journalism from Ankara University in Turkey. She has been working as an Associate Prof. Dr. at Ankara Haci Bayram Veli University/Faculty of Communication/Department of Journalism in Turkey since 2018. Her current research interests include new media studies, algorithmic (robot) journalism, online journalism, coding for journalists, data visualization, media ethics, and gender.

  • Assoc. Prof. Ph.D. Alina Coman: she works in the Social Sciences and Communication Department, Transilvania University of Brasov. She has 23 years of experience in the university education system. She wrote two books in successful publishing houses in Romania: Gender Stereotypes in Advertising Discourse (2005) & Communication Techniques (2008). She is involved in managing and developing research projects. She has more than 10 years of experience in qualitative research and in the advertising field.

  • Anila Noor: policy influencer for inclusion, diversity, and social justice,  Feminist Ecosystem Builder, an activist, TEDx  Speaker, and Researcher based in the Netherlands. Recently became a member European Commission Expert Group and evaluator for AMIF calls. As an Advisor and expert consultant, she works with different institutions on designing engagement projects related to inclusion and diversity. She initiated  New Women Connectors, a movement striving for mainstreaming the unheard voices of migrant and refugee women living across Europe. Noor is currently working on the subject of Receiving Refugees in Urban Settings.

  • Alessia de Iulis: Board member - Associazione Internazionale per la Cooperazione e l'Educazione nel Mondo. Gender equality enthusiast, social communication explorer, passionate about multicultural environments. Graduated in linguistic and intercultural mediation. She is a volunteer in AICEM and board member since 2019. Boy scout educator since 2013.

Speakers brought their vision of gender equality in media and advertising and what we can do to tackle gender stereotypes in these fields.

Khadija stressed that media for social change means using the media as a tool to change behaviour, practices and knowledge of the audience. The basic instrument is Communication for Development, which is the strategic use of communication, research and participatory community engagement to boost social change. She managed recently a Search For Common Ground’s project “I Am the President”, the first reality TV show in Tunisia of Media for Social Change. The show was used to allow women to have a voice in the Tunisian framework.

Kassem presented his experience as a street theater performer. His project started on a voluntary basis and allow to repopulate old and abandoned cinemas to give a space to offer training and workshops. Through art he enables people to be together, to express themselves freely and to share experiences and cultures.

Bilge brought her vision of academic expertise in the field of journalism. She highlighted the difficulty of being a woman in the media sector. Every day we are filled with perfect, flawless bodies that create high artificial standards for ordinary people. A lot of messages convey a vision of women still linked to a patriarchal society with specific roles that should be respected.

Alina emphasised how many people do not realise the amount of stereotypes that the world of media and advertising implicitly proposes to us every day. Often those who create such content do so without thinking about the long-term consequences of proposing these gender stereotypes. It is therefore important to talk more about advertising than media because through the former we can improve the social learning discourse.

Anila underlined the impact of gender stereotypes in the media into the policy-making process. We need to start thinking about how we can use the experiences of all women who are victims of stereotypes and inequality, pointing out which messages are not helping to achieve gender equality. 

Alessia, through the AICEM organisation of which she is a member, wants to empower young people and make them more self-aware. She firmly believes in the importance of promoting a healthy attitude in social media. In this context, AICEM developed a project with schools to design an advertising campaign connecting the theme of sport with gender equality.

Here are some of the most inspiring quotes of yesterday Panel:

Promoting a culture of gender equality in the media and in the digital world is one of our main challenges. In this context GEYC has been working for years to motivate the youth to the correct use of digital media and tools and be responsible online citizens. 

In particular since 2018 GEYC has collaborated with Google and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) in the Young Digital Leaders (YDL), a European educational programme that aims to empower young people across Europe through digital citizenship, critical thinking and media literacy skills, beyond the classroom, so that they can grow up safe, responsible digital leaders. The programme also sought to upskill teachers and parents so they could more proactively support this process, with a better understanding of the challenges faced online.

One of the last events organized by ISD in the YDL framework was the Be Internet Citizens online training, designed to teach teenagers about media literacy, critical thinking and digital citizenship, with the aim of encouraging young people to have a positive voice online.