Port au Prince, Haiti, 4 May 2016 – On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, Panos Caribbean released yesterday its latest press dossier, looking at the place and role of women in Haitian media. Titled Femmes et médias en Haïti: Petites avancées, grands défis (Women and media: small progress, big challenges), the dossier examines the role of women in Haitian media over the past 50 years, and presents a well-documented analysis of the issues and their impact on the quality, fairness and relevance of information available to the Haitian people.
The dossier demonstrates, with facts and figures, that the media remain a space of power where women are under-represented and where men dominate the hierarchy, the decision-making processes and the content of information. The situation is no different in the political field in Haiti, where gender equity remains a major concern.
"The role of women in the media is a reflection of the power relations in society, but it is also a factor that determines those power relations. Promoting equity and diversity in the media contributes to creating a society that is fairer and more democratic", says Yves Renard, Acting Coordinator of Panos Caribbean.
This dossier on women participation and representation in the media builds on earlier work done by Panos Caribbean in 2006. Ten years later, we can see that some progress has been made but that much more remains to be done to reach the gender balance in the decision-making spheres in media houses, and the dossier offers several practical and valuable recommendations.
"My wish is that this work can be continued and that it will promote the evolution of ideas on the issue of women whose presence in the communication space must be a development factor for effective promotion of freedom of expression in this country," says Jean-Claude Louis, Coordinator of Panos Haiti, who led the 2006 study and coordinated the preparation of this latest dossier.
The mission of Panos Caribbean is to promote sustainable development and social justice in the Wider Caribbean region by empowering people, especially the poor and vulnerable, to produce information and share their perspectives on development issues, and by broadcasting them across language and political borders.
The Global Panos Network, of which Panos Caribbean is a part, was instrumental in the original decision to commemorate 3 May at World Press Freedom Day, following the historic seminar on "Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press" that was held in Windhoek, Namibia, from 29 April to 3 May 1991.
The dossier can be downloaded here.
Full press release text can be downloaded here.