European Communication Research
and Education Association
The idea for undertaking a global analysis of the place of women and men in the news was developed during the ‘Women Empowering Communication’ conference which was held in Bangkok in 1994 when several organisations including MediaWatch-Canada with support from WACC-UK and Status of Women Canada pledged to organise the project. The original aims were to explore where women and men featured in the news, both in terms of content and production, to build a network of gender and communication groups, to develop capacity in monitoring skills and construct a research methodology which could be implemented in a range of different national contexts. Crucially, GMMP has always seen itself as an advocacy initiative, intent on raising awareness of key issues such as gender-based marginalisation, invisibility and stereotyping, amongst news media practitioners. In 1995, volunteers in 71 countries undertook the first monitoring exercise and the findings were reported during the Women’s NGO forum in Beijing in September, a meeting which itself developed what has become known as the Beijing Platform for Action. Section J of the BPfA focuses explicitly on media and achieving its ambitions of equalising women’s representation in and access to the media remains at the heart of GMMP. Twenty years later, GMMP 2015 saw the participation of researchers in 114 countries and in 2020, the 6th iteration of GMMP took place with the largest number of countries ever involved (125). The GMMP remains the most comprehensive longitudinal study of gender and news and its methodology has been widely used to undertake other national and regional studies.
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