“Women in media” has been interrogated through research in many ways. Conventionally, it touches on the portrayal of women, women’s roles and responsibilities, and the structural challenges faced by women journalists in media. As such, “voice”, “visibility” and “influence” of women can take many forms in media. However, little research can be found on how gender equality issues are portrayed in Malaysian media.
This research, therefore, pays special attention to women or men as media agents of change who have demonstrated through these three criteria that media can better reflect gender equality as a fundamental human right. In analyzing the research data, and given the constraints of media and journalists in Malaysia, this research also started to ask what can be done and what could be possible in ensuring adequate and regular media coverage on gender issues, including a gender perspective on issues not typically considered gender issues.
Given the call for the establishment of a media council in Malaysia, mapping initiatives, agents of change, and specific mechanisms/platforms to mainstream gender in the media is critical as a reflective tool in strategizing for the promotion of gender equality in Malaysia’s media. Emerging gender indicators have also shown it is imperative to include indicators, both qualitative and quantitative, which can help shape and bring about a critical gender consciousness and lens for people in media and in the write-up of issues.
This research was conducted by KRYSS Network, in collaboration with Institute of Journalists Malaysia, and with support from UNESCO.
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