The declaration of rights adopted by the United Nations in 1948 states quite simply that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” and that “everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, … birth or other status.”
Although women and girls represent half of the world’s population and half of its potential, they have not ever been given equal opportunities. Gender equality, besides being a fundamental human right, is essential to achieve peaceful societies, with full human potential and sustainable development. Moreover, it has been shown that empowering women spurs productivity and economic growth.
Regretably, there is still a long way to go to achieve full equality of rights and opportunities between men and women in Turkey. Therefore we believe in the importance of ending existing multiple forms of gender violence and secure equal access to quality education and health, economic resources and participation in political life for both women and girls and men and boys. It is also essential to achieve equal opportunities in access to employment and to positions of leadership and decision-making at all levels.
In Turkish society, increasingly the Internet and social media have come to play a leading role both a source of information and as a shaper of opinions. There is a gender equality dimension related to media as a profession as well as to media content. Regarding media as a profession, women are under-represented in media ownership, information production, and in decision-making positions.
Gender inequalities are even more blatant in media content: women are under-represented from both a quantitative and a qualitative perspective. Women represent only a tiny amount of persons heard, read about or seen in the news, they are rarely represented in any expert capacity and some fields are still very male dominated (e.g. front-page stories, politics and government, economy).
In addition, the persistence of gender stereotypes in media content, the prevalence of sexist hate speech in social media, the scarcity of counter-stereotypes, and the often sensationalist media coverage of issues such as violence against women, are issues that need to be urgently addressed.
Bidebunuizle is committed to advancing gender equality in its own workforce, its suppliers, consultants and all parties it comes into contact with as well as actively advocating for gender equality in its media content. Bidebunuizle’s contributors to both its YouTube and its newspaper arm Gazete Pencere overwhelmingly represent our gender goals of which we are rightly proud. We also advocate for women’s issues, subscribing to the Council of Europe’s declaration of 16 recommendations for Gender Equality in Media as follows:
• Create the appropriate conditions under which our staff, contractors, contributors and all those we come into contact with can enjoy full equality as a principle of our activities including particularly equal treatment and equal pay;
• Make all our employees aware of BBI and Gazete Pencere’s gender equality policy on practice and pay;
• Adopt self-regulatory measures and internal codes of conduct and refresh our policies in line with any new guidelines from time to time;
• Adhere to the best practice standards in media coverage to promote gender equality,
• Promote a consistent internal policy and working conditions aimed at equal access to, and representation in, media work for women and men, including in the areas where women are underrepresented;
• Promote a balanced participation of women and men in management posts, and generally in the decision-making process;
• Promote a non-stereotyped image, role and visibility of women and men, avoidance of sexist advertising, language and content which could lead to discrimination on grounds of sex, incitement to hatred and gender-based violence.