Women Media Center Israel - English

NEED – We are currently witnessing a crisis of representation in the media. Although Israel is a diverse, pluralistic and democratic society, it is disturbing that the media itself remains primarily limited to a single demographic: Ashkenazi males. A number of alarming statistics reveal that women, in particular, are grossly underrepresented in the media, despite Israel’s having a 51% female population. Men hold many of the positions (particularly senior positions) in the media field and are far more likely to be quoted than women in newspapers, television and public radio. They are more often featured as “experts” commentators and officials on subjects including security, religion, economics and politics.  By nearly a 3 to 1 margin, male front-page bylines at top Israeli newspapers outnumber female bylines. The media is the single most powerful tool at our disposal as an engine of social change. It has the power to educate, to disseminate information, to impact public opinion and affect policy. If women are not sufficiently represented in the mainstream media, their voices cannot be heard and they do not have the same ability to impact civil society. This is not only discriminatory, but results in our having a very narrow, misrepresented and biased picture of reality.

SOLUTION – Unfortunately, most efforts to promote women in the media tend to be disenfranchised, dispersed and disempowered. ANU’s Women’s Media Center Israel addresses the need to change the “picture of reality” reflected in Israeli media. Our goal is to substantially increase women’s power and visibility in Israel’s media and public debate by increasing representation and amplifying marginalized voices. WMCI is a hub of women journalists and feminists that seeks to increase women’s individual and collective power through the media. It is a platform for action, education, monitoring and visibility of women in the media that ensures accessibility, networking and coalition-building. ANU is building a community of hundreds of activists, media personnel and women’s organizations, harnessing this collective power to increase the representation and participation of women in the public debate.

OBJECTIVES(1) To increase number of women experts, speakers and panelists in the media; (2) To promote women in senior positions and management roles; (3) Encourage a process of gender mainstreaming in the media field, creating friendlier work environment for women; (4) Increase the coverage of news topics with a feminist perspective.

ACTIVITIES(1) Female Journalists as Agents of Change: partnership with the Chamber of Women Journalists to promote structural change within the media industry, and as a source for content, training and monitoring; (2) Mentoring: promote cross-generational change through a mentorship program between senior and up-and-coming women journalists. In addition, the WMCI offers training opportunities for activists on media and feminism, to be provided through members and partners; (3) Matriarch’s Circle: The WMCI site offers a reservoir of female experts from diverse backgrounds and a wide range of expertise; designed to serve journalists and producers for women to be integrated into domains previously considered exclusively male (i.e.: economics, security, religion, politics); and (4) Digital Activism Tools: ANU createa access, encourage action compile information and keep the media up to date using our innovative online platform