7 January 2020

Media Professionals and Educators in Kazakhstan Trained on Gender Issues

Al Farabi Kazakh National University (Kazakhstan), a member institution of UNAI serving as the UNAI Global Hub on Sustainability, recently implemented a comprehensive specialized media training in the country, in order to properly address from a journalistic perspective issues and stories related to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular those connected to SDG 5: Gender Equality.

The UNESCO Chair in Journalism and Communication of the Department of Journalism in partnership with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women) in Kazakhstan developed a series of seminars to increase the overall capacity of local media and press services of local executive bodies in covering gender issues.

One of the seminars took place in the city of Kostanay and had the participation of a group of communicators working as chief editors, journalists of newspapers, radio stations and television channels as well as bloggers, representatives of local non-governmental organizations and other relevant stakeholders, including editorial companies. The diversity of participants allowed the consideration of various approaches.

An integral component of this project included interactions with practitioners in the region to demonstrate the actual possibilities of correctly using gender knowledge and terms as a professional tool in covering events, news or stories in print and electronic and social media, and in preparing press releases or background information for either the media itself or senior officers at the local or regional level.

Participants in these seminars were encouraged to increase the coverage of topics that are somehow missing from the general public such as female employment, migration of women and sexual exploitation, among others, while at the same time examining gender-sensitive indicators in media outlets, to measure real impact and as a follow-up of the training organized by the UNAI member institution.

In a similar experience and within the framework of the same initiative, a training in the city of Uralsk was held aimed at reinforcing and strengthening the curriculum on gender journalism, after which six higher education courses were introduced in various Kazakhstan universities. Between 2018 and 2019, dozens of communication professionals from academia and the media have been trained by this university in collaboration with the United Nations.

These initiatives carried out by Al Farabi Kazakh National University highlight the critical relevance of communications and journalism to foster gender equality not only in Kazakhstan but in Central Asia and elsewhere. On this topic, UNESCO launched last year two publications within its Series on Journalism Education, that might be of interest: Setting the Gender Agenda for Communication Policy and Gender, Media & ICTs. You might also want to check out the UN Gender Checklist for Content Creators.