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Czech media controlled by men, only 9% of women among managers

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Prague, June 20 (CTK) – Czech daily newspapers, weeklies, news webs and TV broadcasters are largely controlled by men, while women make up only 9 percent of their managements, according to an analysis presented at the 2nd Congress of Women in Prague Saturday.
There are only three women among the 40 journalists who influence the content of the country’s six largest daily newspapers, the analysis drafted by the Institute of Independent Journalism has shown.
The congress focuses on the picture and position of women in the media.
Both the organisers and the 1100 visitors to the congress agreed that only men usually comment on crucial issues in the media, while women mostly focus on health care and social affairs.
Women appear in the roles of mothers, victims and witnesses. They play less important roles and are passive, with less ambitious jobs, and viewed mainly as experienced household women.
“We live in a society where it is normal not to invite women to [the media] debates on problems faced by the society, where female [media] presenters and moderators look like dolls, where men decide on [the media] content almost exclusively and where a half-naked female body can be used to sell anything,” said Marcela Linkova, chairwoman of the congress’ organisational committee.
She said the gender equality issue has often been played down.
The congress passed ten recommendations that, if implemented, might help improve the situation.
One of them is the demand to use both the masculine and feminine gender i.e. two different nouns, instead of only the masculine, when referring to groups such as students, teachers, lawyers or athletes.
Furthermore, it is necessary to fight certain stereotypes, secure an equal gender representation as guests to TV discussion programmes, fill more senior posts with women and reject products promoted by sexist commercials.
The ten recommendations also include the need of family-friendly workplaces with the possibility of the home office and part-time work regimes.
Female journalists should cooperate with each other, the participants in the congress agreed.
The organisers said they want to push through the ten points in practice. They mainly plan to work with men who hold the top positions in the media.
Human Rights Minister Jiri Dienstbier (Social Democrats, CSSD) said it is the media that determine people’s way of perceiving and evaluating things.
“Women were depicted as protagonists in 23 percent of media news. Among the reporters who inform the public about social affairs and justice, there are 64 percent of women, while there are 67 percent of men among the journalists reporting on crime and violence,” Dienstbier said, referring to the analysis.
Vera Jourova, the Czech EU commissioner in charge of justice, consumers and gender equality, said people in the media have the power to decide on what and how issues will be discussed in society.
The gender representation in the decision making should be balanced, Jourova said in a video message to the congress.
The analysis showed that the six main Czech dailies’ editors-in-chief included only one woman, and there was no woman among the deputy editors-in-chief.
Ten men and two women occupied the posts of chief reporters and chief commentators.
There were ten male and no female chief news editors in the dailies.
Of the three national TV broadcasters, one has a female director.
In public Czech Television, not only the general director but also his deputies and all heads of programme projects are men, the analysis showed.
There is no woman at the head of any of the country’s five big news servers. Their respective newsrooms are headed by four men and two women. There are ten male chief new editors and no female one.

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