A panel of experts addressed members of the press as well as NGO and government delegates today about the role of women in global television. Panelists Barbara Pyle of CNN, Anita Anand of Women’s Feature Service, Jenny Richards of the UN funded Television Trust for the Environment (TVE), and others, discussed the need for more worldwide coverage of women’s issues and more women in decision making positions in broadcasting.
In her remarks, Pyle described a new, not-for-profit television series produced by TBS/CNN Environmental Policy Unit called “People Count.” She noted that this series and the international CNN series “World Report,” have already been taking on the task of educating viewers globally about the concerns of women.
Richards discussed TVE’s attempt to “raise public awareness of the links between poverty, social inequity, unfair trade terms, resource depletion, population and human rights issues.” They’ve made more than 200 programs that have reached prime time audiences in over 140 countries including Peru, South Africa, India, Finland and the United Kingdom.
In India, according to Anita Anand, a television show about the life of a woman police officer which began about three years ago has been very influential in encouraging young women to become police officers themselves. An estimates that the weekly show is responsible for about two thirds of the new women recruits entering the police academies.
During the question and answer section of the symposium, some reporters asked questions about the lack of substance in the remarks of the panel as it did not address the real lack of women in decision making positions in broadcasting. Several panelists responded that the one hour symposium did not allow for any in depth debate on the subject and that they were giving glimpses into some of the programs and projects trying to address this and other problems for women in television.