March 22, 2016 | Tuesday

Master Class and EU Talks conclude EUICC campaign on gender based violence

EU Talks: Gender mainstreaming and representation – How does Kosovo’s media mirror gender?

The EUICC launched the program series “EU Talks” with its first panel discussion on Gender mainstreaming and representation, addressing the question of gender mirroring in Kosovo’s media, held on 28 January at the EUICC Pristina. The discussion focused on how women and gender are represented in Kosovo’s media, as a dominant tool for the transmission of gender messaging, imagery, and meanings.

The panelists included gender academics, feminist activists, representatives of media regulatory bodies and online media editors. Vjollca Krasniqi, a professor of gender studies in University of Pristina, began by presenting findings from media monitoring conducted in 2015 in terms of gender representation in news production and content that highlighted the imbalance in reporting on politics compared to social justice issues. “Gender is systematically ignored and gender issues in the news are marginalized,” said Ms Krasniqi. From the perspective of online news media, Besa Luci, Chief Editor of online portal Kosovo 2.0 pointed out that Kosovo’s media does not reflect gender but only constructs representations and stereotypes of gender.

The panelists brought research-based viewpoints and analysis on women’s participation and representation in public media from different sources of information. Public and commercial media monitored recently by the Independent Media Commission (IMC) showed a low percentage (around 15.5%) of women’s presence or participation in programs with political content. In the majority of either public or private broadcasters, women journalists are usually featured in morning shows and beauty related programs, said Naile Selimaj Krasniqi from IMC. However, she stressed that IMC’s role as a regulatory body is limited and there should be new sublegal acts to expand the Commission’s remit in terms of media monitoring. Shqipe Gjocaj, a feminist activist and columnist at Sbunker, raised her concerns about the flourishing sexism and misogyny prevalent in online media that tends to publish such articles mostly for commercial purposes.

EU Master Class: Feminist Art and Online Violence

The EUICC in Pristina and Mitrovica concluded the bi-monthly campaign on “EU is about preventing gender based violence”, with the EU Master Class series. The Centre in Pristina hosted the EU Master Class with Ms. Zana Hoxha Krasniqi on the topic of Feminist Art and its influence on preventing gender based violence while the Centre in North Mitrovica organized a master class focusing on the issue of online violence and its rise alongside the technological age.
In Pristina, Ms. Hoxha Krasniqi presented feminist art and its role in demanding equal rights and representation of women in politics, economic and society in general. Feminist art is a art of all forms that fights for women’s rights. Ms. Hoxha Krasniqi took numerous examples of her previous work that “directly represented the disparities between men and women and the human rights issues.” Some of her work that addressed women rights were “Stories from Balkan”, “Victims Kitchen” and “The Valley of her Suffering.” She also coordinated the Femart festival, a creative art space at which all forms of art can be presented to convey awareness for women and human rights in general. In the 2015 edition, the Femart festival hosted 35 activities and was attended by more than 2000 people.

At the same time, the EUICC Centre in North Mitrovica discussed the problem of online violence in our society. While technology offers numerous benefits in life, the worldwide media and technology explosion has also opened a doorway to cyber bullying, online harassment and other types of violence that affect young women in particular. Discussing this topic, Ms. Ružica Simić delved further into the issue of violence against women through social networks, explaining the gravity and consequences that often stem from ignoring such problems and considering them as miniscule and irrelevant. The presentation provided common examples and forms of online dating violence and cyber bullying, while the participants also contributed with their own comments and examples concerning the topic and its presence in everyday life.

The EU Master Class and Talks series concluded the campaign “EU is about preventing gender based violence” with February seeing the launch of the new bi-monthly campaign, “EU is about rule of law and economic empowerment”.