National "NAME IT. CHANGE IT." Campaign Launch Addresses Sexism in Media Against Women Candidates
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 26th, 2010
National ‘NAME IT. CHANGE IT.’ Campaign Launch Addresses Sexism in Media Against Women Candidates in 2010 Midterm Elections
Press Conference: Tues, Aug. 31st from 11a – 12p at The Paley Center for Media
Women’s Campaign Forum Foundation joins Women’s Media Center, and Political Parity
New York: Just days after the 90th anniversary of women’s right to vote, women candidates running for office during November’s midterm election have already begun to experience one of the biggest obstacles to their electoral success: The toxic manner in which they are portrayed in the media. This is why the Women’s Campaign Forum Foundation, Women’s Media Center, and Political Parity, are partnering to launch a national campaign to ensure media accountability through a coordinated rapid response network intended to dramatically decrease incidences of misogyny in the media directed at women running for elected office. The Name it. Change it. project aims high: To remove one of the most serious barriers to America’s representative democracy.
WMC President and former advisor to Hillary Clinton, Jehmu Greene, says “Not only will we monitor and hold outlets accountable for problematic coverage, we’ll proactively work with media professionals and outlets to provide resources for balanced local and national coverage of the elections, and give them the opportunity to take the equality pledge not to engage in pervasive sexist attacks – because we know that sexism and equality simply don’t mix.” Tuesday’s press conference will offer attending media the first chance to ask questions of speakers and campaign leaders, one-on-one interviews after the conference, as well as an opportunity to sign the Name It. Change It. equality pledge. The event will also livestream at http://www.nameitchangeit.org/, http://www.wcffoundation.org/, http://www.womensmediacenter.com/.
2008 US Congressional Candidate (PA-15), and WCF Foundation and WCF President/CEO Siobhan “Sam” Bennett experienced the detrimental comments and hostile attacks that women candidates experience simply as a function of running. “It’s probably surprising for some to learn that the U.S. currently ranks 86th in the world for the number of women in Congress. And to paint a clearer national picture, 51% of Americans are women, but we hold only 17% of the seats in Congress, and 24% of State Legislature seats. And it’s no coincidence that hostile portrayals and sexist media scrutiny affect voter outcomes. We look forward to releasing groundbreaking research conducted by Lake Research showing just how severely slanted coverage impacts attitudes toward candidates, and thus electoral outcomes – Irrespective of political parties.”
Parity co-chair Kerry Healey, who also has firsthand knowledge of what it is to be a candidate and an elected official in this environment, welcomes the change we will make for women candidates. “This project is a perfect example of Political Parity in action: deeply committed partners, each bringing to the table the respective strengths of their organizations, working together to help all women running for office, irrespective of political parties and value systems.”
What: Press Conference for national Name It. Change It. campaign launch
When: Tues, Aug. 31st from 11a – 12pWhere: The Paley Center for Media (25 West 52nd Street, btw 5th & 6th Avenues)
RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure a seat and an opportunity for in-person interviews
Press Contact: Yana Walton - email@example.com
O: 212.563.0680 C: 347.813.1323
WCF Foundation, founded in 2006 as a 501(c)(3) sister organization of the Women’s Campaign Forum, is dedicated to helping women build the skills and infrastructure they need to become more effective leaders in public life. WCF Foundation conducts action-oriented research and pilots targeted programs that prepare women to become more politically active, increase their engagement in key democratic processes, and ready them for public leadership roles. At WCF Foundation, we not only identify barriers to women's political equality - we find solutions.
Women’s Media Center (WMC) was founded in 2005 by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem to positively impact the visibility of women in the media, amplify women's voices on key issues in the national dialogue, fight sexism and bias against women in the media, and increase professional opportunities for women across all forms of media. Through training, advocacy, and the development of original content, WMC is changing the conversation in the media so that media more accurately represents the perspectives, positions, and priorities of women.
Political Parity is a nonpartisan initiative to spur the number of women in high-level political offices, from the state house to the White House. Parity is working with a diverse group of individuals, organizations, and academic institutions to develop best practices for achieving political parity, to share information and resources among those working to elect women, and to create a sense of inspiration and urgency for achieving our goal. Chaired by Ambassador Swanee Hunt and co-chaired by former Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey, Political Parity is a program of Hunt Alternatives Fund, based in Cambridge, MA and Washington DC.