50.50: News

openDemocracy joins UN Women media alliance

Invite-only network including Deutsche Welle and Glamour pledges to disrupt stereotypes and boost the number of women in media leadership roles

Kerry mugshot.jpg
Kerry Cullinan
17 May 2021, 12.13pm
Launch of the UN Women Media Compact in 2016
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UN Women

openDemocracy has joined the UN Women’s Media Compact, an invite-only alliance of media organisations across the world that are committed to actively advancing women’s rights and gender equality.

Other media partners include Deutsche Welle, France24, Glamour, the Huffington Post, Marie Claire, Politico, and numerous regional outlets across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas.

"We are thrilled to join this partnership,” said Claire Provost, openDemocracy’s Head of Global Investigations and founder of the Tracking the Backlash project, which investigates organised opposition to women’s and LGBTIQ rights globally.

“Since 2017, our groundbreaking feminist investigative journalism has had major impact – including on the media and policy debates internationally – and this is because of the extraordinary hard work and dedication of our growing team and network of women and LGBTIQ journalists around the world,” Provost said.

“It is wonderful to have this work recognised with an invitation to join the UN Women's Media Compact. We look forward to working with this group to change the media – and thus the debate – about rights and equality globally,” she added.

Media partners are asked “to scale up their focus on women’s rights and gender equality issues through high-quality coverage, complemented by gender-sensitive corporate practices”, according to UN Women.

They are also expected to “disrupt stereotypes and biases” and “increase the number of women in the media” including in leadership and decision-making roles.

The alliance was established in 2016 as part of UN Women’s road map to implement the global sustainable development goals (SDGs) – in particular goal five, which strives to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030.

Specific targets under this SDG include an end to gender-based violence, and universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.

According to UN Women, the minimum activities expected of media partners include producing at least two high-quality stories a month that focus on women’s rights and gender equality; aiming for gender parity in sources quoted in stories; and ensuring women journalists are provided with mentors and guidance for career advancement.

In exchange, UN Women undertakes to amplify partners’ content through its social media channels and 90 offices worldwide.

In addition, outlets get advance access to editorial content, exclusive briefings with experts, priority for interviews and special access to UN Women events.

openDemocracy’s Tracking the Backlash project – which is led by women and LGBTIQ journalists – investigates the backlash against women’s and LGBTIQ rights and challenges the exclusion of diverse voices from the media.

Tracking the Backlash investigations have been nominated for numerous awards including several 2020 British Journalism Awards and the European Centre for Press & Media Freedom’s annual IJ4EU Impact Award.

What happens when asylum seekers are sent back into danger?


Most countries closed their borders over the pandemic, but for asylum seekers, deportation continued all over the world. More and more often, they are returned to the same life-threatening conditions that they fled.

To mark World Refugee Day on 20 June, and the launch of our multimedia project 'Parallel Journeys', join us as we explore returns without reintegration.

Hear from:

  • Nassim Majidi, Co-Founder of Samuel Hall where she leads research and policy development on migration and displacement. She also teaches a graduate course on Refugees & Migration as part of Sciences Po Lille’s Conflict and Development Programme.
  • Claudio Formisano, an international affairs expert with 15 years of experience in designing and managing multi-sectoral programmes to address human trafficking, the smuggling of migrants and in fostering human rights compliance.
  • Léa Yammine, Deputy Director at Lebanon Support, an independent research centre based in Lebanon and multi-disciplinary space creating synergies and bridges between the scientific, practitioner, and policy spheres.
  • Chair, Preethi Nallu, an independent journalist, writer and film-maker focused on migration and displacement. She is founding editor at Refugees Deeply, a multimedia journalist at openDemocracy and a media collaborations specialist at International Media Support.
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