In order to support the World Class University program, Department of Communication Science, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Diponegoro University held an International Webinar with a theme “Woman and the Media”. The speakers of this webinar are Dr. Sunarto (Lecturer of Undip Communication Science), Prof. Lynn Rose (American University of Iraq, Sulaimani) and the moderator is Amida Yusriana, M.Ikom (Lecturer of Undip Communication Science).

The Dean of Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Dr. Drs. Hadi Warsono, MTP., officially opened this international webinar. In his speech, he conveyed that the issues raised were very interesting to be discussed. Currently Undip is encouraging research on the SDGs issues. The issue of this webinar supports SDGs number 5 on Gender Equality and SDG number 16 on Justice, Peace and Strong Institutions.

“For Master of Communication Studies students, this course will deepen knowledge about the concentration of Media, Culture, and Society in both international and regular classes. It is also useful for strategic communication concentration classes, especially for those who are interested in media and gender issues. Hopefully this event can provide the maximum benefit for the people who also take part in this webinar,” he hoped.

In her material, Prof. Lynn Rose said that in the modern era the world has changed, there is no stereotype of women with disabilities labeled as bad. However she is worried about the representations that exist in the media in the contemporary era of 21st century which show an unreal reality. Nowadays women with disabilities have to be beautiful and beauty contest for disabled women even exists. According to Prof. Lynn, it has a positive side but it does not solve the problem of representations of disabled women because it does not match with the reality. Disabled women in the 21st century have a new burden since they are required to be beautiful, whereas disabled women in fact have many dimensions as human beings.

She provides depictions of women as in Jess Zimmerman’s “Women and Other Monsters” on a green book cover in bold black font that explores the potential dangers of wild women in the ancient Greco-Roman world.

“He spoke of women whose bodies turned into alarms for men and cautionary tales for women, and this is what we are still seeing in 25 centuries of our human history,” she said.

On the 6th slide of the materials, Prof. Lynn explained about Medusa, a character who is used to be a very beautiful woman. Because of her beauty, she was raped by Poseidon and cursed by Athena to be very ugly, with a head full of poisonous snakes and a deadly gaze. Zimmerman speaks of a “narrow beauty band” in which women are encouraged to perfect themselves.

While Dr. Sunarto in his discussion said that lately the media industry is facing new technology as a consequence of the advancement of the internet. This condition makes it difficult for the media to develop financially. Digital era 4.0 has a negative impact on the media industry when it cannot adapt to new conditions. In the case of local media, all leaders try to develop new strategies to solve their economic problems. This new era creates economic problems for the media industry in Indonesia.

“Feminist views do not seem to have succeeded in overcoming male dominance in the conventional media industry in Era 4.0. In this era, economic interests still dominate behind their policies and products. Leaders of female journalists seem to only mobilize men’s economic interests when producing policies and content to meet women’s interests. However, when women journalists have equal opportunities to reach editorial top management positions in the conventional media industry, there is an opportunity for them to influence and change their environment to be gender sensitive,” he explained. (Linda – Public Relations)

Translated by: Titis (Public Relations)