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Maya Morsy - "A good opportunity to hear and listen to perspectives from different countries"

UNDP partners for a second time with the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change

Maya Morsy of UNDP at Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change

Rachitaa Gupta | 04.08.2015

The UNDP has partnered with the annual Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change for a second time to present the students with a challenge and encourage them to come up with innovative media solutions for the same in the three weeks they will be working at the Academy.

Maya Morsy, a Salzburg Fellow, and the regional gender team leader for the UNDP Regional Bureau of Arab States in Egypt, visited the academy to discuss the women related issues that UNDP is working on in 18 Arab countries, including Egypt.

“Our work is focused in the Arab region like the gender based violence, engendering the government portfolio from legislation to access to justice and services, in addition to the environmental package of climate change and sustainable development. I, of course, work with peace and security agenda, especially in the Arab region, where there are some countries either in conflict, prone to conflict or in the transitional reform of democracy,” explained Morsy.

Morsy believes that in the current situation there are several opportunities and challenges for the women’s rights based issues to be discussed and made a priority, especially in the countries facing conflict, where there is a need to increase the women’s presence at the negotiation tables during the peace process. More women, she said, were needed in the decision making process and in the parliament to raise the concerns of the women from their perspective.

“Opportunities and challenges are the two faces of the same coin. The immediate opportunity we have is the reconciliation, the national dialogue, and the peace negotiations in the Arab counties, especially those in conflict…..

“At the same time it is a challenge because still we [women] are not seen as a part of the peace and negotiation table. Our hope is to make sure more women are a part of this process because this will be an opportunity for women to appear on an equal foot with men in the peace dialogue and in the framing of the political future of their countries,” said Morsy.

She also stressed the role of media in empowering women and presenting their issues in a positive light. According to Morsy, media needs to focus on the role models and powerful women while simultaneously move away from stereotypes when portraying them in different contexts. She also insisted on a more sensitive coverage of stories like gender based violence.

“If we see role models in the media, if we see decision makers who are powerful and are doing real change on the ground, it will help in affecting and impacting more women in the legislation and in the parliament. We see media as a very strong tool that with a real message to change the community, a real message to create a social impact, can really help women and gender equality agenda,” Morsy emphasized.

She considers the Salzburg Media Academy to be an ideal platform to discuss the relationship between media and women’s rights issues and to come up with innovative ways to improve it. The diversity that the seventy-six students present at the Academy, Morsy believes, will create the perfect atmosphere to discuss this topic comprehensively, and develop media tools that could be applied by the UNDP in their work of achieving gender equality.

“I think the combination of students we have this year, from Arab to western, is a good opportunity to hear and listen to perspectives from different countries and maybe a solution in one country could be applied to another Arab country,” Morsy said.

She also expressed her desire for this partnership, of the academy with the UNDP, to continue in the future with more of her colleagues coming to share their expertise with the students in the coming years.

“It is a great honor for UNDP Regional Bureau of Arab States to be partnering with the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change. We hope it can be a ritual to bring more UNDP colleagues to the academy. We have media, sustainability development, we have economic empowerment, different colleagues that could partner with the Salzburg academy. Looking forward to more UNDP colleagues coming next year.”


To read and join in with all the discussions in Salzburg, follow the hashtag #sac2015 on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

The Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change: Civic Voices: Justice, Rights, and Social Change is part of the Salzburg Global series “Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change” and is  held in partnership with American University of BeirutAmerican University of SharjahBournemouth UniversityJordan Media InstituteEmerson CollegeIberoamericana UniversityPontificia Universidad Catolica ArgentinaSt. Pölten University of Applied SciencesChinese University of Hong KongUniversity of MarylandUniversity of MiamiUniversity of Rhode IslandUniversity of St Cyril and Methodius, and University of Texas.

04.08.2015 Category: FACES OF LEADERSHIP, MEDIA ACADEMY
Rachitaa Gupta