Gender equality is a fundamental human right and it matters!

Edited by Anna Popper

Gender Equality was made part of international human rights law by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948. It recognizes that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, birth or other status.”

The Ringier Group, a large international Swiss media corporation with a strong presence in Europe, Asia and Africa, is committed to gender equality. Instead of promoting quotas, Ringier uses its journalistic and technological influence to advocate gender equality. In cooperation with Ringier Hungary and the Swiss Embassy in Budapest, Ringier organised a leadership event under the motto: Expertise has no gender, with a main topic of EqualVoice movement.

The function was hosted by H.E. Jean-Francois Paroz, Ambassador of Switzerland to Hungary at his residence. In his opening remarks, the Ambassador welcomed the invitees: representatives of media and organisations dealing with gender equality issues, as well as other participants of various walks of life, and introduced the theme of the discussion and the guest speakers from Ringier leadership.

In November 2019, Ringier launched an initiative entitled EqualVoice, which arose from the idea and initiative of Ringier CFO Annabella Bassler and co-founder Katia Murmann. The aim is to make women and female experts more visible and represented in media coverage and to give them an equal voice in order to reduce the qualitative and quantitative asymmetry in the media that can be observed globally.

Chairman Michael Ringier, and Ringier CEO Marc Walder preside over the international EqualVoice initiative, which the media company Ringier Hungary has joined with its portfolio.

Annabella Bassler, the event’s keynote speaker, and her colleagues from Ringier’s Zürich Headquarters gave comprehensive overview about the current gender equality situation and provided information on the EqualVoice Factor, the core of the initiative, an effective and trustworthy tool to monitor gender equality and inequality in the media based on facts.

In order to make the phenomenon measurable, analysable, and to monitor the progress, Ringier developed a software solution based on a semantic algorithm, capable of learning new languages and analysing the quantitative and qualitative mentions, appearances of women and men online and in print media, also in text, image and video content. This indicator is the so-called EqualVoice factor, which was validated by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) in 2022. EqualVoice measurements have been in Swiss and Polish media products since 2020.

The EqualVoice movement comes to Hungary

Mr. Tibor Kovács, managing director of the media company Ringier Hungary, stated:

We are aware of the media’s responsibility in the field of any social or environmental phenomenon where the desired change begins with attitude formation. Whether it is the promotion of social diversity and inclusion, the creation of equal opportunities or the multifaceted challenges of sustainable development, as a media company we can do the most with our journalistic tools. And as always, we look around our own house first and start making changes if necessary.

I am proud that thanks to EqualVoice we can play a pioneer role in the domestic media in the field of breaking down stereotypes about women’s roles, and over time it will no longer make sense to distinguish between women’s and men’s roles at all.”

“Achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls is the unfinished business of our time, and the greatest human rights challenge in our world.” – UN Secretary-General, Mr. António Guterres

Source: Swiss Embassy in Budapest