PCOO relaunches gender-fair media guidebook

MANILA To further promote gender equality and appropriate portrayal of women in the media, the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) on Tuesday began its regional relaunch of the Philippine Revised Gender-Fair Media Guidebook at the Philippine Information Agency office in Quezon City.

PCOO Assistant Secretary Marie Rafael-Banaag said the agency is planning to conduct a caravan reintroducing the guidebook in Pampanga this month, while the PCOO relaunch is scheduled in Visayas and Mindanao by next year.

"We wanted to partner with local media. In addition, we also want to include state universities and colleges," she said.

The guidebook is aimed at addressing gender stereotyping in news and entertainment writing, as well as on film and TV production.

Lawyer Allen Espino, a gender and development expert, said in 2017 alone, there was a general increase in media's interest on women's issues as indicated by a surge in the number of articles about women.

With the exception of highly-regulated media practice, such as advertising, the discriminatory and derogatory portrayal of women, stereotyping, imbalanced representation, and the use of language that is not gender-fair, however, "are still common," she added.

Espino said the relaunch aims to curb these occurrences in the communications industry to zero.

"We hope to increase their level of awareness. We also hope that this will help change the media landscape to make the media's practice more gender-fair," she said.

Espino said the guidebook equips people with the standards that they should expect from the media, from reading the news down to watching commercials, movies, and television programs.

"If they find out about these standards, they can demand these from the media, now they can call out the media if they think their dignity is being violated," Espino said in an interview.

The National Capital Region launch was attended by students of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) and its College of Communication Dean Divina Tormon-Pasumbal and Prof. Edna Tormon-Bernabe.

Pasumbal committed to promote the book within the university and pledged to distribute the prints among the faculty members.

Also present at the launch were: PIA director general Harold Clavite; Optical Media Board chairperson Anselmo Adriano; Philippine Commission on Women executive director Emmeline Verzosa; Bureau of Communication Services director Howard Uyking; gender advocate Ice Seguerra, Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte; and officials of the Office of the President. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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