Illustration by @enas.satir

Illustration by @enas.satir

IMS’ media reader on gender and sexuality

This online publication is a celebration of intersectional feminist journalism. Here you will find those rare pieces, outside the mainstream media, full of wit, sharpness, challenge and the passion that characterise the stories IMS’ partners in the Global South tell to denounce and resist patriarchal society. 

Media is not merely channeling and describing these realities, but has a moving power to challenge the mainstream narratives and stereotypes, push for changing norms and values, and raise issues onto the public agenda. It can also help in fighting impunity, hold decision makers accountable, and promote the rights of people of all genders. By boosting this journalism, IMS hopes to contribute to the feminist struggle towards enabling a just and equal world for all. 

In 2021, IMS decided to deepen its commitment to gender equality. As we discussed how to move forward in our intent to promote ethical, public interest, human rights journalism, we realised that the path was before our eyes. Our partners have been producing a body of work on gender issues with the potential to transform lives, set the political agenda, create awareness of social injustices, break taboos and demand accountability. All that content production can be encompassed under the umbrella of intersectional feminist journalism, a lens from which we will continue seeking inspiration to further our work. 

This updated version of IMS’ gender reader Navigating a changing world: Media’s gendered prism covers from sexual and reproductive health and rights in Pakistan and Nepal to living a LGTBIQ+ life in the Middle East to the search of women for their own safe spaces in Syria and Colombia. You will find yourself moving among the protesters in Lahore, Beirut and Khartoum calling for change, and you will meet brave people of all genders who resist gender norms and opposes oppression; you will learn that the hymen is in your mind; that feminists can enjoy rap; how cinema can change our narrative on violence and much, much more.  Most of all, you will see that, no matter where you are today, patriarchy is around you and the struggle for equality is shared among peoples and cultures. 

As the #MeToo movement went through a second global wave, with #UnVioladorEnTuCamino, #MeTooMosque, and Collectif 490 and so many other expressions used to be heard, women remained on the frontlines, resisting backlash, leading uprisings, connecting authoritarian and patriarchal oppression with gender-based violence, and exposing the gendered impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Feminist movements are gaining male allies, willing to challenge the rigid, stereotypical, and limiting gender norms of boys and men.       

This is a brief selection of pieces by our partners that provide a first glimpse into the debates in different parts of the world. We expect to continue exploring the power of intersectionality and feminism in journalism, side by side with our partners, in order to amplify women’s and oppressed people’s voices. 

Language and sexuality

Language and sexuality

On the empowerment of speech

#ENAZEDA. Beyond stories, a political act

#ENAZEDA. Beyond stories, a political act

An audio documentary on Tunisia’s #MeToo

Women and migration

Women and migration

A Women’s Listening Club in Mali discuss the issues of migration

From mystical brides to lip-synching queens

From mystical brides to lip-synching queens

An analysis of cross-dressing in Myanmar

Gender equality - a cornerstone of media development

IMS is convinced that media cannot be truly professional unless all genders, people from minorities and disadvantaged groups are represented in media production and that media content is free from stereotypical and degrading content. Our vision is that everyone, irrespective of a person’s gender, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, abilities or socio-economic status, can enjoy their right to freedom of expression and participate in the public debate.

IMS supports partners in the Global South to produce content that advances gender equality, amplifies women’s and oppressed people’s voices and reports in an ethical and gender-sensitive way. IMS also supports partners to improve the conditions for female journalists through research, safety of female journalists, equal opportunities and breaking glass ceilings.   

Culture and society

Gender-based violence

Sexual and reproductive health

Politics and economy

Queer and masculinities

Women, peace and security