Women’s rights and gender equality in the media: closure of the Makanati project

Women’s rights and gender equality in the media: closure of the Makanati project

March 11, 2022

The project closure webinar for the Makanati project was held on 15 and 16 February 2022, in partnership with Aide Humanitaire et Journalisme (AHJ).

The main purpose of this event was not only to present the results of the project carried out over two years in Iraq and Yemen, but also to analyse and discuss ways to capitalise on those results and to further strengthen the status of women in the media in the two countries.

The webinar was brilliantly led by Tatiana El Khoury, a journalist with France 24, and had 45 participants representing the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (Ministère de l’Europe et des Affaires étrangères – MEAE) and the French embassies in Iraq and Yemen, experts on media and gender issues who were project partners, trainers and the journalists benefiting from the project. More than 65 people attended the webinar, representing foreign agencies in Iraq and Yemen, NGOs, universities, media outlets and campaigners for women’s rights and gender equality.

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It took place over two days and consisted of four main sessions. During the first session, Matthew Peyraud, Director of Culture, Teaching, Research and the Network at the MEAE, together with the representatives of the embassies, underlined the importance of a project such as the Makanati project in promoting gender equality, freedom of expression and social cohesion in the two countries. They also commented on their satisfaction with the results achieved, in spite of the many obstacles linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, the security situation and socio-cultural challenges and barriers.

More than 200 female journalists supported for two years

During the second session, the main results of the project were presented by each partner in Iraq and Yemen. The Makanati project has supported more than 200 female journalists in 16 governorates in Iraq and 5 regions in Yemen, in particular by raising awareness, building skills, producing content and networking.

The results of the two studies into the status of women in the media in the two countries were presented by the teams of local researchers at the start of the third session, together with the two platforms, makanati.net (Iraq) and hodaj.net (Yémen), created and managed by the beneficiaries of the project. More than 300 pieces of content focused on women have been released. In this vein, Monte Carlo Doualiya created a report in February 2021 on the media content produced in Iraq.

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CFI has awarded seven prizes to the best content, selected by two expert panels in each of the two countries, in four categories: podcasts, articles, investigative reports and videos.
With the participation of several CSOs, local media and universities, the fourth session provided an opportunity for a wide-ranging discussion on the results, difficulties, lessons learned and recommendations presented by the partners.

At the end of this last session, CFI presented some avenues and possibilities for extending the activities of the project and strengthening its impact, particularly through the Qarib, project, as well as other (new) projects in Iraq and Yemen.