Press Release: Mainstream media involvement minimal
20 June 2000
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NGOs spread the news during UN Women 2000 meeting

WomenAction 2000, a global network of women's information and media organisations, continues to receive praise from around the world for providing coverage of the UN Women 2000 meeting held in New York from June 5-9. "Most of the world's press including the New York Times said not a word to herald the launch of the week-long conference," wrote Michele Landsberg, who was kept informed by Women Action, in the Toronto Star on June 10th.

WomenAction 2000 provided listeners and readers throughout the world with a daily flow of information. Two daily newspapers, one global the other specifically on African issues, were produced as tabloids and disseminated via email lists and the WomenAction 2000 web site. A daily Internet TV program (predominantly French) and daily (Internet-based) radio broadcasts (predominantly Spanish) brought the conference to many viewers and listeners. The WomenAction 2000 Internet cafe, situated near the UN building, provided access to women to send thousands of messages to their constituencies and to receive information. One WomenAction 2000 partner trained a group of NGOs in journalism skills and the 40 ensuing articles were sent home and in many cases published or broadcast.

WomenAction's reports brought to light the difficulties many women's organizations and governments face in implementing the Beijing Platform for Action. "We regret there was not enough political will on the part of some governments and the UN system to agree on a stronger document with more concrete benchmarks, numerical goals, time-bound targets, indicators, and resources aimed at implementing the Beijing Platform For Action," Charlotte Bunch, Director of the Center for Women's Global Leadership (USA) and June Zeitlin, director of Women's Environment and Development Organization (USA), said at the end of the meeting. But they mentioned many gains made. One is in the area of violence against women: for the first time the UN addressed the issue of honor killings and forced marriage. The Outcomes Document called for comprehensive mechanisms to stop dowry related violence and marital rape. In the area of human rights, there is a call to ratify the optional protocol of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and to recognize the specific needs and rights of indigenous women. For more information on the Special Session, please consult the official UN Beijing+5

In the period leading up to the UN Women 2000 meeting WomenAction 2000 was instrumental in making it possible for women's organizations to become involved in preparations for the meeting. "Thanks to WomenAction the women of Eastern Europe have been able to organize ourselves, to set up a web site and to conduct online discussions," European WomenAction 2000 participant Lenka Simerska of the Czech Republic said during the first UN-Cyberfemmes TV broadcast.

WomenAction 2000 will continue to provide information for the advancement of women using interactive TV, radio, web sites and email lists.

Background and Information

WomenAction 2000 is a global coalition of women's information and media organizations to 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. This meeting was a follow-up to the 4th UN World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995, where a comprehensive Platform for Action - guidelines - were established for governments to advance the status of women. The gateway to the regional and global WomenAction 2000 sites is

For more information on WomenAction 2000, contact:
Karen Banks - APC-WNSP UK: email:
Anne S. Walker - IWTC email:

For information on specific projects, contact:
Interactive TV: Joelle Palmieri, Les Penelopes France email:
Radio: Maria Saurez, FIRE Costa Rica email:
WomenAction Newspaper: Daphne Plou, APC Argentina email:
African newspaper: email:
Media Outreach: Ma. Victoria Cabrera Balleza Isis-International Manila,The Philippines email:


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