National Council of Women ‘strongly deplores’ ‘Realta ’ article

Urging more respect for the dignity of women and men in the media, the National Council of Women yesterday “strongly deplored” the contentious publication and ensuing “sensational media follow up” of the article written by Alex Vella Gera in the university students’ newsletter Realta.

In a statement issued yesterday, NCW president Grace Attard described the publication of the article as “depicting men and women in a degrading and offensive manner, under the pretext of ‘fiction’ or ‘literary’ work.

Without going into the legal provisions regarding such publications, the NCW said it was “calling on the government, media outlets and relevant authorities responsible for media publications, including print and audiovisual media” to abide by a common set of principles.

These include ensuring by appropriate means that respect for human dignity and the integrity of the person, in particular women, are guaranteed and that are neither directly nor indirectly discriminatory nor contain any sexist insults or degrading images of women and men.

The NCW urged publishers to see that their publications do not contain material which, judged in its context, sanctions, promotes or glamorises all forms of violence, including sexist violence against women.

Moreover, it called for action to be taken against “sexist insults or degrading images of women and men in all publications” and for “the necessary rules or codes of ethics to be put in place where missing, and to provide sanctions for lack of compliance with such rules”.

Additionally, the NCW insisted that “efforts to combat gender stereotypes in all forms of the media should be accompanied by educational strategies and measures to cultivate awareness from an early age and to develop critical faculties from adolescence onwards”.

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