Hon Robyn McSweeney BA JP MLC

Hon Robyn McSweeney BA JP MLC

Former Minister for Child Protection; Community Services; Seniors and Volunteering; Women's Interests; Youth

October 11 becomes UN Day of the Girl Child

11/10/2012 12:00 AM
  • Documentary screening in Northbridge to celebrate first Day of the Girl Child
  • Discussion paper ‘Women in the Media’ released today 
Close to 200 people are expected to fill the Heath Ledger theatre tonight at Western Australia’s inaugural celebration of the United Nations International Day of the Girl Child.

Women’s Interests Minister Robyn McSweeney is hosting a screening of the award-winning documentary Miss Representation, challenging the portrayal of women and girls in the mass media, followed by a panel discussion of experts in the field.

“On this first ever International Day of the Girl Child it is important we strongly encourage the active participation of girls in decisions that affect them, as well their parents, their elders and the communities they live in,” Mrs McSweeney said.

“That is why we have chosen the topic of women and the media, because the mass media plays a key role in how young women create their identities.”

Today the Minister also released a discussion paper on these issues entitled ‘Women and the Media: who do they think you are?’ (see attached).

“I am concerned about the on-going effects of the ways in which women are often represented in the media,” she said.

“Young women in particular can experience feelings of insecurity about body image as a result of repeated exposure to media images, including those in magazines and music videos. I hope this discussion paper will help girls and women examine how their sex is portrayed in the media and perhaps take some action.”

October 11 has been endorsed by the United Nations as the day each year when society recognises the challenges and issues facing young women around the world.

As part of celebrations to mark the inaugural UN day, Mrs McSweeney launched a new Youth WA Facebook page. The page aims to encourage and support young West Australians.

      Fact File
  • In Dec 2011, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to recognise the rights of girls worldwide
  • Seats are still available for the screening of Miss Representation (recommended for ages 15+) at 4pm. RSVP is essential. Please call 1800 199 174
  • A facts sheet ‘Women in the Media’ has been produced to encourage women to think about issues that impact on their wellbeing. Available at http://www.communities.wa.gov.au
  • New Youth WA Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/youthwesternaustralia

Minister's office - 6552 6500