Saturday,18 November, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1369, (16-22 November 2017)
Saturday,18 November, 2017
Issue 1369, (16-22 November 2017)

Ahram Weekly

A more helpful media?

A more  helpful media?
A more helpful media?

HIGHLIGHTING the importance of the World Youth Forum (WYF) which attracted hundreds of youths from across the world to share ideas and solutions to problems and challenges, President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi announced that the forum will be held annually in Egypt, reports Reem Leila.

Egypt as well as a number of conflict-hit countries is in need of dialogue, discussion and endorsing the principle of acceptance of differences, all offered through similar youth gatherings, Al-Sisi told participants at the WYF’s closing session.

The idea of holding an international youth conference emerged in July during the National Youth Conference in Alexandria.

Al-Sisi said that growth and development in media outlets and social media would eventually lead to the formation of a more developed and conscious awareness that would counter the effect of some other outlets.

Al-Sisi emphasised that the huge attendance by youth from various parts of the world offered an opportunity to counter the influence of what is being spread by media outlets which are subject to personal interests and views.

“The forum provided an opportunity for a fruitful dialogue and exchange of views which are needed in Egypt and the region to counter distorted thought,” the president said.

This resonated with other speakers when speaking on the role of the media. “Social and political history cannot be separated from the media in any state,” said Diaa Rashwan, chairman of the State Information Service (SIS) during the session “Press Freedom, Why it Matters”.

Rashwan, former head of Egypt’s Press Syndicate, stressed international organisations concerned with freedom of the press and expression must obtain their information only from credible sources.

Albert Shafik, director of the Egyptian CBC Extra News TV Channel, called on the Egyptian media to follow in the footsteps of the French and Germans in the middle of the last century as a mediator between the two countries.

“After World War II, the French and Germans hated each other, but the media succeeded in putting an end to that hatred and hostility,” Shafik said.

Empowering women and enhancing their role in decision-making were among the topics discussed at the WYF.

“Women can be better leaders than men as their ability to function in groups and work under pressure is much better,” said Minoush Abdel-Meguid, co-founder and managing director at Union Capital, a fund-managing company with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises.

Abdel-Meguid, who was featured on Forbes’ 2011 list of Africa’s 100 Most Powerful Women, said that equality between men and women is a must in developing countries. “Most of Egypt’s micro-credit programmes, estimated at 60 per cent, is about women’s development,” added Abdel-Meguid.

The same applies to many countries. In Sri Lanka, around 80 per cent of NGOs work on women-development projects and only 20 per cent of Sri Lankan women work in governmental entities, according to Anoka Primrose, the first Sri Lankan elected to the UN World Youth Consultative Council, in 2015.

Sri Lankan women prefer to refrain from positions associated with the decision-making processes, Primrose said.

She added that the heads of state in her country usually come from political families, which highlights the need for women to become more engaged in decision-making circles and be given more legislative rights.

Meanwhile, UN women representatives attending the session praised the Egyptian government’s efforts to empower females, declaring the current year to be the year of the Egyptian woman.

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