UN Women Media Compact

A partnership to advance women’s empowerment with and through the news media

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by UN Member States in September 2015, is a universal roadmap for people and planet, addressing the key challenges of the 21st century, such as poverty, inequality, and climate change. Women’s empowerment is recognized as a pre-condition to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the core of the 2030 Agenda. The SDGs include a transformative stand-alone goal on gender equality and women’s rights (Goal 5) that addresses structural barriers to women’s empowerment, along with important targets on gender equality in other Goals. Success will now depend on rigorous implementation.

As part of the implementation efforts and to urge news media who are influential actors to advance the gender equality agenda, UN Women launched the UN Women Media Compact in March 2016. Building on the successful Beijing+20 Media Compact established with media organizations worldwide in the context of the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, UN Women invited media partners to play their part in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Agenda and focus on gender equality and women’s rights issues on two fronts:

  • in their reporting, disrupting stereotypes and biases; and
  • in increasing the number of women in the media, including in leadership and decision-making functions.

Partnership framework

UN Women invites select media organizations to join the Media Compact.

The Media Compact aims to be a mutually beneficial agreement though which valued media partners are invited to scale up their focus on women’s rights and gender equality issues through high-quality coverage and editorial decisions, complemented by gender-sensitive corporate practices.

UN Women will invite leading international, regional, and national media outlets to become part of the Media Compact by pledging to become gender champions through their reporting, editorial decisions, and corporate practices. While each media outlet will define for themselves how best to implement the partnership, the commitment, at a minimum, will include the following:

  • Champion women’s rights and gender equality issues through editorial articles, features, and news coverage.
  • Ensure production of high-quality stories with a focus on gender equality and women’s rights, with a minimum of two per month.
  • Ensure inclusion of women as sources in stories produced, aiming for gender parity, including across diverse subjects such as business, technology, science, and engineering.
  • Adopt a gender-sensitive Code of Conduct on Reporting.
  • In orientation and training of staff members, ensure guidelines for gender-sensitive reporting.
  • Through gender-responsive decision-making, enable equality in the newsrooms by ensuring women journalists are given similar opportunities as their male colleagues and can cover diverse subjects from politics to business, science, sports, and technology, while encouraging male journalists to also cover diverse issues, including women’s rights and gender equality stories.
  • Ensure women journalists are provided mentors and guidance for career advancement.

UN Women will ensure the following for Media Compact partners:

  • Listed as a partner on UN Women’s website and announcement through UN Women’s social media channels.
  • Content dissemination and amplification: UN Women will amplify content on gender equality and women’s rights written/produced by the media partners through its wide network of UN Women’s social media channels and via distribution to our 90 offices worldwide.
  • Free content: As part of the Media Compact, partners will receive editorial content in advance—produced on a regular basis—by UN Women’s editorial team in New York and its offices in more than 90 countries. This includes thought leader op-eds, feature stories, infographics, first-person narratives, photo essays, videos, and much more. Media Compact partners can use the content produced by UN Women free of charge, with a reference to UN Women as the source of the original content.
  • Insider’s access: Media Compact partners will get priority when they request interviews with UN Women’s top officials, in New York and in other parts of the world. As part of the Media Compact, they will also be the first to receive advance notice of upcoming events hosted by UN Women, with regular access to UN Women’s media team for up-to-date information. As a partner, they will gain special access to the organization’s events at UN Women offices/UN Secretariat in NY, or internationally, through which they can undertake backstage coverage of certain high-profile events, and pre-event interviews.
  • Exclusive focus: On a whole range of topics, UN Women experts can provide exclusive on-the-record or background briefings. These interactions are one-on-one conversations, designed to assist research and facilitate in-depth stories.
  • Connecting the dots: UN Women has offices in 90 countries. The organization can connect the dots and facilitate introductions to grassroots groups and field colleagues who are experts on the issues as well as the geo-political landscape.
  • Champion of the cause: For media partners interested in a non-reporting role, UN Women can explore a role at UN Women events, such as that of a moderator and/or speaker.

(These guidelines are also available in Spanish and French.)

Watch an archived webcast of the UN Women Media Compact launch.