Compte rendu de la soirée du 4 Juin : « Digital Media: a complex way to empower women »

Digital Media: a complex way to empower women


On June 4th, FAJ, in collaboration with the CCIFJ, hold its yearly conference-debate. Our topic this year with challenging: how and could Digital Media help empower women?


The discussion covered many topics, showing the complexity of the topic and the wide array of possibilities and limitations of Digital Media.







Hayashi-sensei, professor at Todai University, our moderator for this event, shared the surprising output of her recent study: there might be no link between the digital media, the political awareness and the fact to be an informed citizen of the world. While our other speakers had a fairly positive view on the potential of Digital Media, Hayashi-san presented a more pessimistic view of the potential brought by Digital Media, questioning whether a tool, even as rich as the internet, can change political awareness and deep social behaviours  Even more surprising, the study hints at a paradox: the more access women have to Digital Media, the less their political awareness, overall women tend to show more soft knowledge and less hard fact political knowledge than men.








Our other panelists highlighted the potential brought by Digital Media, from the field of self-expression, new work-style, or new business development – up for grab for women.




Ohnishi-san, Executive Director Asahi Shimbun, highlighted the progress she witnessed during her career in terms of women integration in the media world. Digital Media is despite recent progress still a white-men dominated field, but it still offers many opportunities to raise issues and create the news. The example of the video "Majorite Opprimee" showed how a video can go viral on the internet and how info can now be quickly broadcasted, without the traditional media intermediary – a forum for women to express themselves. The challenge for women is to become an active audience and create the info.










Sonja Blaschke, freelance German journalist, shared her experience as the only female German foreign correspondent iJapan and the various initiatives launched in Germany to promote women, mostly through increased networking. She raised the issue of a possible "Japanese internet island", partially brought by the language barrier, that might in Japan limit the reach to world and foreign role models, often advocated as one of the main benefits of Digital Media.












Kim-sensei, Professor at Tokai University, focused on the opportunities for women in terms of business development. In Korea the economic difficulties have raised the number of entrepreneurs, especially on the internet, and changed the shopping habits to online shopping. And since the economic downturn mainly affected women and young professionals, the "socially disadvantaged", they logically represent a fair share of these new entrepreneurs.











Finally Iwamura-san, Google Managing Director, APAC Brand & Marketing CMO, Japan, Women@Google Japan Chapter Chair, advocated the use of newtechnologies to empower women, despite the global gender gap when it comes to internet access. She highlighted especially how in Japan it could help develop new work styles, for instance with telework, more favorable to work-life balance and ultimately women employment. She insisted that internet is about creating opportunities for women, not just expressing themselves. For instance famous blogger Chika in Japan has created herself a profession thanks to her very profitable blog that gathers 500,000 followers.










Thank you very much to our guest speakers for a very rich discussion and exchange of points of view!



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