4 years on and we’re still waiting for this to happen!
So we are joining with IC Change, Women’s Aid, Rape Crisis, My Body Back, Southall Black Sisters, Everyday Sexism Project and LOTS of other organisations and MPs (including Gavin Newlands, Caroline Lucas and Helen Hayes) to say:
Here in the Sexist Newsroom, we believe that our work to highlight the sexist and misogynistic treatment of women by our news media is part of a much bigger picture to end violence against women and girls.
It is our firm belief that the attitudes expressed in our mainstream media affect the way women and girls are treated in their everyday lives. Whenever a female politician is critiqued on her outfit rather than her policies in the news, it undermines the efforts of all women trying to make themselves heard and forge a path for themselves in society by saying we are worth no more than our looks. Every time a newspaper suggests that a woman was responsible for her own rape because she was drunk, it gives licence to the general public to do the same. We want to hold our news media to account and we feel that the Istanbul Convention provides the framework for this to be enshrined into our laws.
The Istanbul convention sets out a range of actions that a government should take to prevent violence against women and girls. It states that gender-based violence must be tackled by governments as a structural form of oppression that prevents women and girls from achieving equality.
We are particularly interested in what can be done in the UK to uphold Article 17 of the convention:
Article 17 – Participation of the private sector and the media
1 Parties shall encourage the private sector, the information and communication technology sector and the media, with due respect for freedom of expression and their independence, to participate in the elaboration and implementation of policies and to set guidelines and self‐regulatory standards to prevent violence against women and to enhance respect for their dignity.
2 Parties shall develop and promote, in co‐operation with private sector actors, skills among children, parents and educators on how to deal with the information and communications environment that provides access to degrading content of a sexual or violent nature which might be harmful.