A feminist take on international media development | #mediadev | DW | 08.03.2024
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A feminist take on international media development

A new DW Akademie examines how media development projects empower women and marginalized groups, thus laying the ground for further engagement.

On the occasion of International Women's Day, DW Akademie is proud to publish the new study "A feminist take on international media development." The study, which combines qualitative and quantitative methods, captures the thoughts of media development practitioners and experts on how their work contributes to empowering women and marginalized groups all over the world.

Empowering everyone in society

Feminist approaches to foreign and development policy, which a growing number of countries now subscribe to, are not only about gender equality but equitable participation for everyone. For instance, the German development ministry states in its strategy paper: "The vision of feminist development policy is equal participation by all people in social, political and economic life — regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disabilities, migration status, ethnic origin, religion or worldview, or other characteristics."

Women in discussion at a media training

DW Akademie media training in the Middle East

Currently, little research exists on how media development as a sector can contribute to furthering the goals of feminist policy approaches. DW Akademie's new study paves the way towards changing that.

The findings show that media development activities can strengthen women and marginalized groups when it comes to exercising their rights, accessing resources, and increasing their representation. Awareness-raising through media reporting, opportunities for networking and community building, and supporting women and marginalized groups as producers of journalistic content are the most common activities mentioned by interviewees and survey respondents.

Media development closely aligns with feminist policies

Interviewees in particular often framed their media development activities in terms of participation and dialogue for everyone, with a diverse media landscape helping all parts of the population to make their voices heard. This is very much in line with feminist policy approaches, such as the strategy of feminist development policy employed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The study demonstrates the pivotal role of media development in implementing feminist development policy and provides first insights into how this can look in local project work. In addition to discussing the pros and cons of using the term 'feminist' to describe specific project approaches, the study also provides recommendations for donor organizations wishing to support women and marginalized groups through media development. These findings should inform future activities and research on potential synergies between media development approaches and feminist policy.


You can download the full report below.

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