27 May 2000
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Cyber access to UN decisions on women
A global coalition of women's information and media organisations will ensure world access to the decisions made during the UN special session of the General Assembly entitled 'Women 2000 Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the 21st Century', from June 5-9. Through a daily newspaper (distributed at the conference and through Internet), daily radio programs, daily interactive TV programs and daily press releases, WomenAction 2000 will bring the latest information from New York to readers, listeners and viewers all over the world.
'Women 2000 Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the 21st Century' is the follow-up to the 4th World Conference on Women held five years ago in Beijing, China, attended by the world’s governments and 35,000 representatives of women’s NGO’s. World leaders will review the implementation of agreements made and promises to improve the position of women and their access to their human rights - laid down in the 'Platform for Action'. In other words: what is the present state of the rights of women in the various parts of the world? Which agreements have been honoured and which need to be strengthened?
The UN will look at a range of issues, including: the increasing poverty of women, women's human rights, women's access and inclusion in the media, the challenges for girls, women's education, the health of women, the glass ceiling, trafficking in women, violence against women, women and armed conflict, women and property rights, women in power and decision–making, women as partners in peace negotiations, women and the environment.
Women and women's organizations will follow this process with great interest. Throughout the Special Session, the global www.womenaction.org site will host the daily newspaper, the link to the interactive TV site and to the radio site.
WomenAction 2000, in collaboration with the NGO Coordinating Committee, will produce a daily paper throughout the 'Beijing +5' conference, edited by a team of journalists from Asia, Africa, Europe, North America and South America. The daily will be produced in French, Spanish and English and will be made available in print form, on the web and through a listserv. If you would like to receive the news, subscribe to the free listserv through email@example.com.
African daily newspaper
A coalition of African media NGOs will produce a French and English language daily newspaper concentrating on African issues. This follows the success of The Flamme newspaper which was produced at the 6th African Regional Conference on Women held in Addis Ababa in November 1999. This is an important contribution to increasing the visibility of African issues during the Special Session. The African newspaper will be published daily from 5th to 9th June and made available in print form, on the web and through a listserv.
WomenAction 2000 will work closely with FIRE: Feminist Information Radio Endeavour from Costa Rica. In this way WomenAction 2000 Beijing +5 information will be made accessible via the radio. FIRE programme's can also be heard through Internet: www.fire.or.cr/indexeng.htm.
One hour daily interactive TV broadcast
In a special cooperation led by the French European WomenAction 2000 partner, Les Penelopes, Womenaction 2000 will provide a one hour daily interactive TV broadcast. One or several guests will comment in English, French and Spanish, on the event each day, and reportages made by an audiovisual team covering the conference will contribute to the on-line discussion. The on-line chatroom will broaden and enrich the next day's discussion. People will be able follow the discussions and contribute whether or not they are actually attending the meeting. Background texts, texts written at the time of the program and still photos taken during the meeting will make up the rest of the online broadcast. The program will be archived and stored on Internet, at least until October 2000. This program will be available on Penelopes' program named Cyberfemmes: http://www.canalweb.net/vers/cyberfemmes.asp The footage produced will be re-packaged and made into educational TV and video material. (See press release Cyberfemmes at Beijing +5 below for daily program)
An informal network of women media practitioners and women's groups working on issues of media, information and communication that was formed during the 44th UN CSW Session in March 2000. The group works on the continuing assessment of the implementation of the Women and Media Section of the Beijing Platform for Action and lobbies for its full implementation. The Women and Media Caucus is supported by WomenAction and is coordinated by two of its members: Isis International-Manila and the Agencia Latinoamericana de Informacion.
A team of NGO women and women journalists from Asia, Pacific, Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America will produce and disseminate media-ready materials on an daily basis. They will send articles and press releases to media organisations in their home countries. They will also set up radio phone patches and arrange radio and television guestings for key women's representatives. The Global Women’s Media Team is co-ordinated by WomenAction participant Isis International-Manila.
WomenAction will provide an off-site Internet Cafe for NGO delegates, from June 5 – 9. Delegates will have Internet access, be able to send and receive e-mail; be trained in the use of e-mail services, information dissemination, and text processing facilities. WomenAction participants from APC-Women’s Networking Support Programme are leading this activity. These activities will be centred around the 2nd and 6th floors of the Church Centre, 777 United Nations Plaza, (Corner 1st Avenue and E. 44th Street), NY, NY 10017
About WomenAction 2000
WomenAction 2000 is a global information, communication and media network that enables NGOs to actively engage in the Beijing+5 review process with the long term goal of women's empowerment, with a special focus on women and media.
Started in March 1999, the initiative was the result of meetings between women’s media and information networks and NGOs who expressed their need for ways in which they could participate more in the development of the preparations for the Beijing +5 Special Session.
Based on regional networks, and supported by global networks, the strategy of WomenAction 2000 has been:
1) training and supporting regional information facilitators who would be responsible for setting up working groups in every region and participating in regional and global Beijing+5 review online working groups;
2) training and supporting web site construction and maintenance people who would develop regional websites for the collection, sharing and linking of information on the review process;
3) developing a global web site that would serve as a central site for the collection, sharing and linking of information on the review process;
4) building strategic alliances with women's radio, video and print media networks to repackage and disseminate alternative information, national and shadow reports and electronic dialogues on the review process
5) developing a network of national and regional animators who can mobilise, network and liaise with women's organisations, UN Agencies and other organisations participating in the Review Process
6) building bridges between groups in 1-5 (above) and mainstream print and electronic media by providing the latter with information and analysis on developments since 1995
7) documentation of the proceedings of Beijing+5 activities in print and electronic form to serve as archival material as well as to be made available to mainstream media.The global WomenAction 2000 network is made possible through generous financial support from WomenWatch (the UN interagency gateway for the advancement and empowerment of women coordinated by UN-DAW, UNIFEM, UN-INSTRAW), the Shaler Adams Foundation, CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency/Agence canadienne de developpement international), HIVOS and the Swiss Development Agency
For more information
For more information on WomenAction 2000, contact Karen Banks – APC-WNSP UK: email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information on specific projects taking place at the Special Session in June, contact:
Radio: Maria Saurez, FIRE Costa Rica email: email@example.com
African newspaper: email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Media Caucus: Susana George Isis-International Manila, The Philippines email: email@example.com and Sally Burch ALAI, Ecuador email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Media Outreach: Ma. Victoria Cabrera Balleza Isis-International Manila ,The Philippines email: email@example.com
For more information on the Special Session, please consult the official UN Beijing+5 Press Kit: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/followup/session/presskit/presskit.htm
See also Cyberfemmes at Beijing +5 (UN General assembly special Session)
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