MediaQuest has joined the UAE National Chapter of the UN Women’s Unstereotype Alliance, making it the first publishing company in the Arab region to adopt the UN’s Women’s empowerment principles.
Obeida K. Danhach Bissani, CEO of the Dubai-based firm, signed a memorandum of understanding with Dr. Mouza Al-Shehhi, executive director of the UN Women Liaison Office for the GCC, last week.
Al-Shehhi said: “Media plays a critical role in shaping our perceptions and views, as well as forming our social values. UN Women believes in the transformative role of media and social media, which are powerful tools to promote gender equality and break down gender-based stereotypes.”
MediaQuest and the Unstereotype Alliance will work together in different areas to increase awareness of stakeholders, including decision-makers and influencers on issues relating to gender equality and women’s empowerment.
As a first step, MediaQuest is producing a campaign that aims to eliminate harmful stereotypes in advertising and media.
The company will create and publish content informed and facilitated by UN Women’s data and analysis on gender equality and women’s empowerment. It will provide media coverage and organize events on topics related to women’s economic empowerment, leadership and participation, and other subjects related to gender equality.
“We need more gender-sensitive content and to challenge social and cultural norms, attitudes and perceptions, both in content and in publishing houses,” Al-Shehhi added.
“And we also need to portray women in leadership roles and unconventional settings, and the media helps us instill this more realistic depiction of women in mainstream culture.”
Earlier this year, MediaQuest joined the UN Women Media Compact, a partnership to advance women’s empowerment with and through the news media. The organization will work with its stakeholders to uphold and implement business practices that empower women, including equal pay for equal work, gender-responsive supply chain practices and a zero-tolerance policy on sexual discrimination and harassment at work.
“As a media organization that not only produces content by women and for women but is also led by women, MediaQuest aims at completely embracing the ambition to adopt and promote the highest standards in women’s rights wherever it can,” Bissani said.
Currently in its fifth year, the Unstereotype Alliance has 217 global and national chapter members.