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Media Literacy Week explores gender representation in media

The Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF), together with Media Awareness Network, a not-for-profit centre for media and digital literacy, have launched Canada’s fifth annual Media Literacy Week.

The theme of this year’s activities, which begin on 1 November, is ‘Gender and Media’ and will be used to highlight the need for parents, educators and young people to talk about the ways that gender is portrayed in media and how this can influence young people’s perceptions of themselves and others. CTF President, Mary-Lou Donnelly, said: “Teachers see first-hand how media and information technology influence the manner in which students interact with each other and how they view the world around them. Media Literacy Week is an opportunity for teachers to discuss with and engage young people so they can become literate in the understanding of visual images and media messages.” An online resource has also been developed and made available to help parents keep up with their children online and to work with their families to develop ground rules that everyone can live with. Media Literacy Week has been promoting the integration of media literacy activities in communities, schools and families across Canada for the past five years. The week underscores the importance of nurturing critical thinking skills in young people that will help them understand and effectively navigate their media-rich world. EI Vice-President, Irene Duncan-Adanusa, welcomed the initiative by CTF, an EI affiliate, and acknowledged the importance of educating young people about stereotypes still attached to gender and the advantages and dangers brought by new information technologies. Duncan-Adanusa said: “Technology has a key part to play in confronting and overcoming gender inequality. Young people are often at the forefront of technology and this excellent programme enables them also to engage with equality issues on terms with which they are more familiar and comfortable. This is a very welcome opportunity to discuss issues of critical importance to all of us.”

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