CAIRO: Journalists and activists held a round table on to establish a media “code of honor” that would protect women’s rights and journalistic ethics at The Press Syndicate Sunday.
Azza Kamel, head of the Appropriate Communication Techniques for Development organization, known as ACT Egypt, the organizer of the event, demanded media policies support gender equality in political and social rights and freedoms.
In a session chaired by journalist and TV host Lilian Daoud, journalists and activists working together said a code of conduct establishing media policy reforms and guaranteeing protections for journalists should also address the issue of how women are treated in the media. Kamel called for “a fair representation of women, non-discrimination, and fighting the stereotype image of women in the media.”
Journalist Khaled al-Balshy, member of the syndicate’s legislative department, said their initiative includes other aspects of the media field. “Women should be fairly represented in media institutions but women’s cause should not take over. The main issue aims to establish a media system based on professionalism and skills,” el-Wady News reported on Monday.
The media is neglecting the role of women in society, said Hala Morgan, a media advisor at the Media Diversity Institute. “A recent study showed that that out of 42,000 news articles, women’s role was highlighted in 4,000 articles only, she stated.
Journalist Nafisa al-Sabagh said she believed women have become more self-aware over time, and that has enhanced and developed her decision-making, el-Badil reported Sunday. Sabagh, who runs a publication focusing on women, aims at presenting a non-traditional depiction of women.
Attendees expressed further concern that female journalists’ role would be only limited to women-related issues, and that they would be excluded from covering dangerous circumstances. Fatma Kheir, the head of Dream News channel, advocated training and supporting them to take leading positions.