Europe By Media Design: Gender-Aware Digital Policies?

Thursday, July 9, 2015
S10 (13 rue de l'Université)
Claudia Padovani , University of Padova
The European Union has committed itself to gender equality and women empowerment since the World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995. These principles have since been enshrined in policy directives and recommendations in the field of media and communication, including aspects of representation and access, participation in media professions and decision-making roles, across a verity of media, from traditional to social and, in recent year, in relation to the challenges posed by the digital environment. In view of the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Conference - to be celebrated in 2015 - efforts have been made at the EU level to assess developments, particularly in what concerns women and men positions in decision-making roles in European media organizations (EIGE 2013, Ross & Padovani forthcoming).

What seems to be missing is systematic assessment of how the EU is translating some of the agreed upon basic principles and norms concerning gender equality into the digital context. Building on a trans-disciplinary understanding of this specific area of investigation, the proposed paper presents a lexicon-content analysis of EU policy documents concerning the Digital Agenda, as well as an analysis of online issue networks of engaged stakeholders conducted through the use of digital methods, with a focus on the normative frameworks that characterize visions and activities. The final aim is to identify the normative connections and disconnections amongst discourses and policy frames that characterize the EU Digital Agenda in relation to the broader challenges of gender equality in media and communication.