Media plays an important role in shaping the society’s thoughts, perceptions and
behaviors regarding gender and sexuality. The first Global Forum on Media and
Gender was designed to unite the efforts of Media and other civil society partners in
contributing to positive change towards gender equality and women empowerment.
The media plays an essential role in promoting gender equality and we must support
this fully.
Too often still, media reflects and sustains discriminatory attitudes to gender, failing
to represent the voices of women and gender minorities or to report on such crucial
concerns as gender- based discrimination and violence meted against the gender
diverse individuals. UNESCO acts across the world to ensure that women and men
benefit equally from freedom of expression as a basic human right. Cooperation is
crucial to ensure that we eliminate imbalanced access to information, media and
technology, under-representation, insufficient media coverage, the prevalence of
stereotypical media content on information regarding gender and sexual diversity.
According to the report of the thematic consultation addressing inequalities – Post
2015 Development Agenda, “Gender-based discrimination and the denial of the rights
of women and girls remains the single most widespread driver of inequalities in
today’s world.”
Radio is still the most far reaching medium of communication particularly in
developing countries. It is therefore so important that radio be used in enabling access
to information for the most marginalized that UNESCO launched the World Radio
Day – 14 February. This would aid support in ensuring the freedom to information
laws are upheld.
Within electronic media, journalists were at times directly forbidden by their
employers from addressing issues of gender and sexual diversity, more often a culture
of self-censorship prevailed, particularly at senior levels. These concerns might have
more or less validity, but as long as they are not tackled, progress in media will be
Development cooperation has only recently started to pay attention in policy
formulation and programming to discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation
and gender identity. This may be partly attributable to the criminalization of homoor
transsexual acts in many partner countries. It is also perceived to be a highly
sensitive and political issue, which cannot be easily addressed with partner
Gender and sexual minorities are treated unfairly in almost every society. This unfair
treatment, which includes stigma and discrimination, directly impacts health;
interferes with access to health services, including HIV-related prevention, care, and
treatment; and undermines productive work environments.
Examples of this include
 Isolation, shaming, or bullying at home, in school, at the workplace, or in the
 Verbal and physical violence
 Denial of work opportunities or access to housing
 Poor treatment by health workers or the inability to access health services
 Discriminatory laws and the inability to exercise human rights
The forum helps participants understand GSD concepts and empathize with GSMs.
Participants become aware of how stigma and discrimination negatively affect GSMs’
health and lives, and recognize opportunities to reduce its impacts.
Understanding and applying concepts about gender and sexuality, including using
appropriate language, is essential to public health programming. The training
provides practical guidance on creating welcoming, inclusive, and equitable
workplaces and designing effective health and development programs to reach those
most at risk.
By exploring the concepts in this training, participants will not only learn about others,
but about themselves—gender and sexuality affects everyone. Participants have
reported that they have gained skills and knowledge that improve their workplace,
programs, and even their own lives.
In the light of above, PEMA Kenya in partnership with the American Jewish world
Service will conduct a two days media sensitization forum on Gender and Sexual
Diversity and Human rights in the county of Mombasa.
The sensitization forum aims to:
1. Sensitize participants to the needs of gender and sexual minorities, including
as beneficiaries of HIV and other health programs
2. Provide examples and recommendations for meaningfully engaging gender
and sexual minority beneficiaries when developing and implementing
3. Connect participants with local/regional resources on gender and sexual
diversity issues
4. Initiate processes that will link up ongoing actions and add momentum to
gender equality with respect to gender and sexual diversity
The forum will involve presentations from experts, panel discussions and group
A total of 24 participants are expected to participate in this forum. The participants
will be media experts including, radio presenters, journalists and media activists and
community members of the gender and sexual diversity.
The two days forum will be held at the Sunrise Hotel in Mombasa County on 15-16
September 2017.