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BCI Censoring Trocaire's Campaign for Gender Equality

category national | gender and sexuality | feature author Thursday March 08, 2007 11:36author by Seamus Report this post to the editors

International Women's Day 2007

featured image
The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI)
have suspended Trocaire's advertisment for its
Lenten Campaign on Gender Equality.


YouTube: Watch The Video

Indymedia.ie contributor Seamus writes:
The BCI have pulled this ad, saying it is investigating complaints of it being 'too political'. Little other information has been made available.

At the most basic level, this is an act of censorship and is anti-women. This is made all the more visible given that tomorrow is International Women's Day, a day that, among other things, serves to highlight the radical inequality experienced by women globally.

Now, while Trocaire are a branch of one of the most anti-women organisations of the world, the Roman Catholic Church, they should be commended for thier campaign shift away from perpetuating the 'black baby' syndrome - the racialised representation of development in Irish society - and 'development as chairty' model of public relations.

Section 10(3) of the Radio and Television Act, 1988: 'No advertisement shall be broadcast which is directed towards any religious or political end or which has any relation to an industrial dispute.'

Related Links: Trócaire warns of conspiracy of silence on International Women’s DayBCI's stated reasonsRAR 2005 Demo Against Female Genital Mutilation


For those not familair with Trocaire's advertisment please see:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKhBnazwAV4

To think that the BCI can stop this in its tracks says alot about the conservative, anti-women sentiment of a public willing to complain that the ad is 'too political', and an organisation willing to censor. Where were the BCI when the EU advertised on the airwaves regarding what they did for Ireland and where to get more information?

This is an act of censorship...
The BCI have pulled this ad, saying it is investigating complaints of it being 'too political'. Little other information has been made available.

At the most basic level, this is an act of censorship and is anti-women. This is made all the more visible given that tomorrow is International Women's Day, a day that, among other things, serves to highlight the radical inequality experienced by women globally.

Now, while Trocaire are a branch of one of the most anti-women organisations of the world, the Roman Catholic Church, they should be commended for thier campaign shift away from perpetuating the 'black baby' syndrome - the racialised representation of development in Irish society - and 'development as chairty' model of public relations.

To think that the BCI can stop this in its tracks says alot about the conservative, anti-women sentiment of a public willing to complain that the ad is 'too political', and an organisation willing to censor. Where were the BCI when the EU advertised on the airwaves regarding what they did for Ireland and where to get more information?

This is an act of censorship. If people have suggestions as to how this can be challenged, your advise would be welcome.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
FYI

The board of the BCI:
Conor J. Maguire : Chairperson - Senior Counsel

Mary Davis : CEO, 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games Organising Committee

Kay McGuinness : Director, Southern Advertising Agency.

Vivienne Jupp : Senior Partner, Accenture.

Mary Kerrigan : Journalist, Barrister.

John Waters : Journalist, Novelist, Playwright.

Angela Kerins : Chairperson, National Disability Authority.
Director, Rehab Group.

Tom Collins : Director, Dundalk Institute of Technology.

John O'Brennan : Chairman, Dublin South FM.
National President, Credit Union Managers Institute.

Joe Griffin : Director, Ashfield College.

Related Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKhBnazwAV4
author by Seamuspublication date Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Trocaire's Gender Equality Lenten Campaign
http://www.lent.ie/

author by miffedpublication date Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

RTE/UTV/TV3 have no problem running ads that mislead kids into phone clubs where operators take their call credit at will. This is the advertising of ring-tones and wallpaprs however when you respond to these ads to buy a tone/wallpaper, you are entering a "club". After a few weeks you realise that your call credit is being swiped and it takes a great effort to escape. Lately they are carrying ads for "sun holidays"( whats that? a weekend in Gorey?) and other trips however no one knows who wins or even if a draw has taken place. Try get RTE/UTV/TV3/BCI to make these ads less misleading and you will get short shrift. Money talks and kids suffering is not allowed to get in the way of profit..

author by Conor - Independent Republicanpublication date Wed Mar 07, 2007 16:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

From me to BCI CE, Board & Officers

A chairde,

I am contacting you to express my dissapointment and anger that you have chosen to suspend Trócaire's advertisment for its Lenten Campaign on Gender Inequality. The suspension of this advertisment show's the BCI's true colours. The reason given by your organisation was that the ad was 'too political'. I fail to see how an advertisment raising awareness of one of the world's longest standing social problems is 'too political'. The advertisment trancends the narrow definition of politics, and confronts a real issue, in a sensitive, compassionate, factual and striking way. To censor this campaign is low, and to be honest I am outraged. While the BCI allows profit making corporations to self-regulate their advertising campaigns, and allow childrens programs to be riddled with advertisments and product placement, effectively creating a class of consumers, they see fit to halt a campaign highlighting a massive, international injustice that permeates every society, every country and culture.

I protest in the strongest possible terms your censorship of this advert, and the seemingly anti-woman policy that the BCI has undertaken.
I call on you to immediately lift the suspension and allow Trócaire to continue on its important and timely awareness campaign unhindered.

Is mise le meas,
Conor .....

___________________________________

I recieved the following reply:

Dear Mr. .......

Please find below details outlining the BCI’s preliminary decision regarding the Trócaire Lenten campaign advertisement.

Yours sincerely

Aoife Clabby
Information Officer

At the request of Today FM, the BCI considered the script for the Trócaire Lenten Advertising campaign, following the stations concerns that the advertisement was in breach of section 10(3) of Radio and Television Act, 1988. This section of the legislation prohibits advertising that is directed toward a political end.

Following detailed consideration of the content of the advertisement, the aims and objectives of the organisation placing the advertisement and the details of the specific campaign being promoted (http://www.lent.ie/takeaction/index.php ), it is the Commission’s initial view that the advertisement is contrary to Section 10(3) of the Radio and Television Act, 1988, which prohibits advertising directed towards a political end.

In reaching this view, the Commission has taken into consideration that element of the campaign which encourages members of the public to participate in the campaign for gender equality by signing a petition lobbying the Irish government to enact UN Resolution 1325. In addition to advertisements for political parties, advertisements which are directed towards procuring or opposing changes to legislation and/or changes to government policies and/or changes to the policies of governmental authorities, are deemed to be towards a political end and hence contrary to Section 10(3) of the 1988 Act.

At this point, the Commission has requested Today FM to cease broadcasting the advertisment pending a final decision. The Commission has invited the views of Today FM and the advertising agency placing the ad regarding this matter. Submissions will be made by them in writing outlining any reasons as to why Today FM believe that the advertisement is not contrary to Section 10(3) of the 1988 Act.

Broadcasting Commission of Ireland
2-5 Warrington Place
Dublin 2

t. 01 6441200
f. 01 6441299
e. aclabby@bci.ie

author by bootboypublication date Wed Mar 07, 2007 16:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"John Waters : Journalist, Novelist, Playwright."

The most virulently unbalanced and fanatically anti-womens' rights individual in the country - and he sits on the body arbitrating what's acceptable to broadcast, you couldn't make it up. No doubt he saw this as another part of the vast Femi-nazi conspiracy that exists only inside his deluded head.

author by R. Isiblepublication date Wed Mar 07, 2007 16:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Having viewed the YouTube copy I can't see how this could be interpreted as anything other than Trocaire trying to raise money so that they can spend it on their various projects including their vision of gender equality. Given that they're a religious, specifically Catholic agency it's highly unlikely that any of that money will be going to promote the use of condoms. The women and men that die from the spread of AIDS as a result of this will be equal in death.

It should also be noted that the BCI have previously pulled ads by Barnardos and at least one other charity for similar reasons.

author by spikepublication date Wed Mar 07, 2007 17:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think that if you are to read the response carefully from BCI, you will note that they have raised a specific concern regarding an e-mail campaign to lobby the UN to enact a relevant protocol or decision in relation to Womans rights.

I don't think that BCI have any difficulty with the other posters/adverts etc.. but I'm open to correction.

I would say though that the last comment about John Waters was absolute nonsense and the poster of same comment should know better.

author by Seamuspublication date Wed Mar 07, 2007 22:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks Conor, that is helpful.

R.Isible, thats exactly it, they are raising money for their various projects. But - and please understand that I am nonreligious and neither am I in any way connected to Trocaire other than sharing in their demand for gender equality - this charity/NGO's association with the Roman Catholic hierarchy does not preclude activities that may go against the dogma of the RC, including those related to bringing about gender equality. Take the condoms/contraceptives issue - you might remember a few years ago a bit of a furore was stirred up in the media, when someone harped on that Trocaire were distributing condoms in their overseas programmes, against Church 'teachings'. Trocaire/Justin Kilcullen's response was a classic, in that the response was Trocaire were not distributing condoms, and while organisations they gave money to may be doing that, it was not Trocaire's business to tell other organisations what to do with their own funds. The condoms continued to be distrubuted. While obviously constrained by their association with the RC, Trocaire are an organistaion that very much have their roots in liberation theology of the 1960/70s that developed in South American states, and this is evident in their outlook and practices. Also, in recent years they have incorporated education and advocacy into their fundraising appeals more and more, recognising their responsibilities as educators as well - something the other NGOs continue to absolve themselves of by making daft claims to 'public opinion not ready for it'. And I'll stop there - I've given too much of a plug already.

spike, yes, the BCI have taken issue with the email campaign to lobby the Irish and UK governments to honor existing commitments to UN Resolution 1325 - effectively full and equal participation of women on equal terms with men at all levels and in all roles to promote peace and security - considering it 'too political'.

But the ad, the content of which should be what is under consideration, directs the viewer to the website - the only seemingly questionable aspect of this ad, as it makes a link to somewhere else - and does so requesting people to go to the website to 'help Trocaire's lenten campaign', the annual Lent campaign which for most people is now so evidently associated with giving money that to say so is simpy stating the obvious (one of the most powerful aspects of Trocaire's fundraising advertising by the way, where people brought up in Ireland have long internalised this behaviour given our socialisation with the Trocaire box in schools, home, etc). Going to Trocaire's website asks the person to consider the act of donating, as well as numerous other requests, which includes 'Go online for Lent'. For a start, Troacire, as with Amnesty, Oxfam, etc, nearly always have some form of request on their website to send a letter, sign a petition etc, and always include their web address on adverts, which pepper most newspapers and tv ads everyday of the week. This particular 'too political' interpretation of Section 10 (3) of the Radio and Television Act 1988 at this time is suspect, to say the least.

To quote a useful comment from M D Higgins that I read a moment ago: (http://trocaire.org/news/story?id=979)

"This Section in the Act was intended to eliminate any potential abuse of the broadcasting medium for a religious or political purpose within the Irish State. The construction that is being put on 'political' by the Commission means that any campaign, be it against bonded labour, child soldiers, trafficking, or slavery, which may even have been the subject of a United Nations Resolution, could be precluded from broadcast.

A further and more dangerous consequence flows from the fact that the basis of the Commission's decision may have been that the call for a government Action Plan to implement Resolution 1325 of the Security Council on gender inequality, may have been regarded as 'political'.
Either of these constructions, and the conclusions that flow from them, would be appalling. The one would exclude campaigns with a moral basis. The other would constitute a censorship."

So yes, BCI have raised specific concerns with the email campaign, but it is dubious.

By the way, John Waters said he had nothing to do with it. Take from that what you will...

author by fgpublication date Wed Mar 07, 2007 22:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

apparently there's a URL at the end of the ad, which when you go to it, there's a petition that trocaire want you to sign.

this is the political act which got the ad pulled. not the content itself.

author by Seamuspublication date Wed Mar 07, 2007 23:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Watch the ad at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKhBnazwAV4
The ad gives this website: http://trocaire.org/

Of the many things on the site, one is, as I mentioned above, 'Go online for Lent', which leads to another page with multiple options (http://www.lent.ie/), of which the petition is but one option on another page again.

Yes, I know that this is what the BCI deem to be the feature that establishes a claim for the ad being "directed toward a political end". I have said as much. However, the danger in this decision is in the precedent it sets, in establishing narrow criteria that determines what is to be considered an advertisement "directed toward a political end". Once again, where were the BCI when the EU advertised on the airwaves? Is that not an overtly political end?

Compare the above with the following situation - Amnesty International advertises a campaign on human trafficking, and give the Irish branch URL: www.amnesty.ie in the advert.

On the basis of the decision against Trocaire, any Amnesty ad showing its URL should be banned also, given that the first page is loaded with 'Take Action' options, not least for human trafficking . I'm not suggesting for a second that Amnesty ads should be banned, in case someone is about to waste time posting in response. I'm merely attempting a comparison.

Now apply the same principle on any other NGO that uses the print/tv/radio media to advertis based on the precedent set by this BCI decision. There's not many that would pass this new test.

This is a dangerous precedent, as well as an affront to those favouring gender equality.

author by Davepublication date Thu Mar 08, 2007 14:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It is truly appalling when an ad to raise awareness around gender equality is banned from the airwaves on grounds that are dubious at best. But the worrying thing is, it is possible in this case to imagine a scenario where the complaint is upheld. The ad does refer viewers to a website where one of the links they will find, after three clicks and not counting the initial url, is to a petition directed at the government around UN resolution 1325. So however strongly one may feel about what has happened, on the basis of the current law in the area, the BCI are seemingly able to put forward a defense for their action. The legal people will presumably unravel that knot in due course. In the meantime it may be the moment for bodies within the Community & Voluntary Sector, in particular, to draw a line in the sand and say 'Thus far and no further'.

Although the particular issue in this case involves Trocaire the effect of the outcome ultimately affects us all. If successful, for example, it gives a clear message out that, for future campaigns, bodies involved in justice issues, take slavery as an example, can campaign/ advertise all they want as long the result is nobody does anything about it i.e. as long as it makes no political difference. Bodies like Trocaire fulfill a crucial role in reminding us of justice and development issues that require our awareness and indeed action whether it be dropping a few coins in a box, writing a letter or petitioning government. If the current complaint is allowed to stand it will render such bodies impotent in this regard, a serious loss for all of us.

It does suggest a wider problem that is current in the sector and that is the dependence on government funding. The sector has been gradually rendered impotent in it's ability to speak out on important issues of social concern because of this dependence. Despite the country being awash with money NGO funding is often maintained on a yearly basis. The NGO's know that any word out of place can bring their very existence into question. A Traveller organisation that voiced criticism of government policy found this out to it's cost a number of years ago. Taking the issue of funding and the issue of the Trocaire ad together there is a clear tendency towards the centralised control of, I can't think of a better word, propaganda. One of the consequences of this is the needed diversity of voices is being lost. There has long been a need for the sector to collectively draw a line in the sand and say 'Thus far and no further' to government encroachment on its legitimate freedoms and indeed responsibilities. Maybe this can act as a wake-up call.

author by R. Isiblepublication date Thu Mar 08, 2007 14:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

issues that require our awareness and indeed action whether it be dropping a few coins in a box, writing a letter or petitioning government

Petitions seem to be the most useless and ineffective waste of time possible as far as getting government to do anything. I'd agree that the BCI decision seems like they're overstepping their mandate, but I think there's a danger in assuming that Trocaire are as effective as the BCI seems to claim that they are.

author by Petitionerpublication date Thu Mar 08, 2007 15:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I signed a petition to support the ANC and call for Nelson Mandela's release from prison.

Just eleven years later, he was released.

author by Johnpublication date Thu Mar 08, 2007 16:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Christian Trocaire Advertisement is clearly peared to execute political agendas against certain countries under the pretext of defending womens rights. Such excuses were used to invade Afghanistan and yet today in Afghanistan women are in more fear and less free than under the Taliban. If the Catholic Church is so inten on defending the civil rights of women then it should start by cleaning it\\\'s own house.

author by Mark Cpublication date Thu Mar 08, 2007 16:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I remember being at an Amnesty 'How to be an Actiivist' workshop type thing in Portlaoise about a year or so ago and the lady facilitating told us that for every letter a government department receives, it presumes that there are about 250 other people who agree with the writer, and also, as far as petitions go, they are pretty ineffectual.

The moral from this, it would appear, is to get letter writing or phoning, or calling around.

Mark.

author by One law fits allpublication date Thu Mar 08, 2007 19:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This story highlights the insidious effect of some of our more authoritarian laws. Here is another one to watch out for: the Standards in Pubic Office legislation. How can it be that a law supposed to maintain high standards in high places can be authoritarian? Here's how - the lawmakers put in little bits that have nothing to do with helping them to stay on the straight and narrow, and have everything to do with keeping troublesome activists and campaigners in line. So they write rules saying that any group or individual that engages in political campaigning has to register with a state body, must keep and furnish detailed accounts to that body every year, must log and report on everyone who gives them a decent donation.... and on it goes. Which might be fine if you are a state funded political party with staff at your beck and call. But now that legislation is being used against little interest groups up and down the country - whether they are campaigning for better childcare, smaller class sizes or clean air - cos all of these are 'political actiities' as defined by law - ie trying to influence policy at government or even local authority level. So while we were sleeping soundly, relying on the nice people in Leinster House to police themselves back to integrityland after all the scandals about buying influence blew up, those clever guys were busy shaping a legal straitjacket to fit not themselves, but us. Admirable in a way. Yes Minister!

author by Deirdre Clanc y - N/Apublication date Thu Mar 08, 2007 19:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It is ironic that ads to help tsunami victims, flood victims and famine victims are broadcast regularly, yet when the thorny issue of gender is raised, the BCI go all out for censorship, even though many of the women helped by Trocaire are just as much in danger of dying. The ad in question is powerful and factually accurate. Gender discrimmination is so deeply ingrained in the fabric of society that people don't even realise it's there and enact its patterns unconsciously, and then accuse feminists of being 'shrill' when they try to point out obvious problems. Young women are now afraid of the word 'feminism' in case it interferes with their image. And in a way, who can blame them? The mainstream media, to which they're regularly exposed, paints feminism as a deeply unhip phenomenon and tells them the only way forward is 'post-feminism' (whatever the hell that is). It wheels out the same two or three women to comment on women's issues all the time, giving the impression that there aren't that many feminists out there (there are lots) and there is nothing new to say.

I heard two radio presenters today asking flippantly why there was such a thing as International Women's Day when there are no outstanding issues to be addressed with regards to women's rights. They also asked, rather inanely, why there wasn't an international men's day. Several listeners texted in to say that every day is international men's day. But must we go through this routine every year, where gender is a big joke to be bandied about, when even in the developed world there are huge disparities between women's earning capacity and men's, even when they doing the exact same jobs? When a significant percentage of women are still domestically abused each year, both physically and emotionally? Often these women don't have the resources to leave these situations, because of the way society is organised economically, whereby childcare counts for very little (women are still the main caregivers) and employers are not obliged to facilitate women in any meaningful way?

If these inequalities still exist in the developed world, they're magified by a million in the developing world. Perhaps Trocaire's ad IS political. It's about time someone actually was political around FGM and the position of women in developing countries, as they're so often held back by Western economic policies, apart from anything else.

Okay, I've had my rant. I'm angry about this. However, at least it's unsubtle, unlike many other forms of discrimmination, which means it'll be easier to formulate an effective campaign against the BCI. Clearly, judging by the formulaic response Conor got, they have no intention of engaging meaningfully with the public on this. If Trocaire's appeal fails, it'll be time to bring out the banners and spray paint, at the very least. It's such a blatantly politically driven decision.

author by chrissiepublication date Thu Mar 08, 2007 20:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's a great shame indeed to muzzle an organisation committed to changing some of the grave injustices that affect women all over the world (& men too, as sexism cuts both ways). As for the longstanding anti-women attitude of the Catholic Church, that's only likely to be changed from within & around the Church; nowadays lay people are becoming more important to the faith than before. Fair play to members of Catholic Worker & Pitstop Ploughshares for so much good work done.
Re the value of petitions, I think better to sign em than not; better still to do more - write letters, make your voice heard, join others (eg, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International) & take action.

author by Allyatespublication date Thu Mar 08, 2007 21:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I hope they ban the Shinners, FF, FG and Labour for being too political too.

I am already sick at the amount of paper I have had to bin with their ugly mugs on it.

I wish they would be banned from sending out leaflets, and making promises they know they wont keep.

Thats the kind of censorship I like!

Just to piss off the BCI I am giving 100 Euros to Trocire.
F them.

author by Seamuspublication date Thu Mar 08, 2007 22:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Something that I find interesting about the BCI statement/action is the way in which they have only asked Today Fm not to play the ad, and have also left the option open to have the ad come back on air "pending a final decision". That deliberate stand-off from a final decision is helpful.

Is anybody familiar with past ways in which BCI have dealt with complaints? For example, is it usually only one media outlet that is not allowed to play/print an ad that has received a complaint, or are all outlets bound by the various provisions under BCI's responsibilities not allowed to play the ad? It does seem unusual to only request one outlet from playing it, here the complainant Today FM, while also keeping the 'back-on-air' option open.

It would seem - and not wishing to act as a BCI apologist here! - as if BCI, or more accurately some one/people within the BCI decision-making part, also disagrees with the interpretation to ban the ad or at a minimum has questions about BCI’s legitimacy to ban the ad, and consequently may have influenced the cautious approach that has been taken by them.

Were that to be the case, then contacting the BCI stating opposition to the current decision may go some way to supporting those people inside BCI who also see this as a ludicrous act of censorship, or those people who are unwilling to set a precedent that will most likely call the BCI into disrepute, delegitimising their function of setting and enforcing codes and rules of standard in the process. The shared sense of opposition to this decision by a large portion of the population [forgetting about the clowns that Deirdre had the misfortune of listening to – they pop up on Indymedia too], is a powerful weapon in challenging the decision of this group, who only retain their decision-making power so long as they maintain symbolic capital and are considered legitimate by the electorate, elected politicians, etc.

Deirdre, to some extent I can see why they would give out a formulaic response and not engage the public. They were given the mandate for decision-making – regardless of how we feel about that, who appointed who etc – and are not a public forum. Interestingly though, the formulaic response is no longer been given out – no response seems to be the current state of affairs. A number of people I spoke with today have not received any response, while a few others had their emails bounced. That suggests, to me at least, that they are being overwhelmed with emails. And that’s a good thing. So while the public may not have any engagement in the sense of decision making, the public may well impose influence by other means.

John Political Crusade, I recoil at the fact that I am actually responding to your lame excuse at a comment given that you clearly have taken in little of what was above: “The Christian Trocaire Advertisement is clearly peared to execute political agendas against certain countries under the pretext of defending womens rights.”

I think you should probably lay off the diet of conspiracy theories you seem to be devouring to regurgitate back up on Indymedia. It is just not helpful and trivialises the significance of the extent of gender inequality. But maybe Trócaire are in receipt of US finances for covert military operations to extend into all Islamic countries and take them over in the name of the One True Faith led by those men based in the Vatican, Whitehouse and Downing Street.

While yes, women’s rights was (ab)used as the battle-cry for invading Afghanistan and other countries in order to establish temporary legitimacy for enacting war, this does not equate the demand for gender equality with military expansionism. As for clearing out their own house, that’s a pretty well accepted criticism of the RC hierarchy at this stage, with many inside that system taking the same position. Are you suggesting that because the RC hierarchy remains a steadfastly gender unequal institution that one of the groups in receipt of some of funds from them (61% from the public, 29% under co-funding which may include the RC hierarchy, see http://trocaire.org/about/trocairefinances.php), Trócaire, should wash their hands of gender equality? It is simply irresponsible to suggest that.

author by Jacqueline Fallonpublication date Thu Mar 08, 2007 22:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It would be fantastic if everyone on this site could donate to Trócaire and send letters of protest to the BCI. It was an absolute disgrace that they took this advert off the tv and radio with the feeble excuse that it was 'too political'. Why don't they ban all members of Leinister House from appearing on the tv and give us all a break, if they don't like things 'too political'. Trócaire is a charity, it does great work and should be assisted in every way in highlighting the plight of some women around the world who because of their gender are: deprived of an education, medical aid, family planning advice and subjected to female genital mutilation, and forced against their will into arranged marriages, and mentally and physically abused.

I don't think it is fair to say that Catholicism is anti-women, it does honour a lot of women as saints. It is a very old religion and I'm afraid, it can't be modernised, you either believe in it or you don't - you can take it or leave it - but I doubt very much you can change it. That said, there are Catholic nuns working in Africa today who distribute condoms freely to those at risk from HIV and AIDS and disagree with the Pope's stance on that issue for obvious health and safety reasons.

I applaud the work of Trócaire and hope their campaign will not be damaged by the actions of the 'too political' people!

author by iosafpublication date Fri Mar 09, 2007 13:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Malaria, Cancer, or even HIV and AIDS?
hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Now how many of those Irish females were denied an education, victimised, abused & killed? Not many? A lot? why? Because of "political action"? What does "political action" on gender equality really mean? Is it just as easy to achieve as a leath pingin thrown in the lenten box to make a black baby white? Can such inequality be stopped without educating women about their bodies and how to take control of their fertility? Doesn't the word condom come into that somewhere around the "even HIV and AIDS" thing?
To be honest - this is the most political advertising campaign I have ever seen produced by a RC charity group. To raise all those questions without the proper nihil obstat + qualifications. Which is why I think it should be aired but understand perfectly why some far up the greasy pole of Trocaire decision making and strategy forming {where no female, with or without HIV AIDS is thought to be}.
Don't ye all see that's why you like it? it's political. beautifully political & quite probably misleading. What would or could Trocaire do to achieve these aims?

author by belmullet mompublication date Fri Mar 09, 2007 14:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was very disappointed to see that composition of the BCI is made up of 50% women. Promoting gender balance on Irish boards is something that has been argued on grounds of equality and non -discrimination for women for years. Yet these 5 women saw fit to be part of this ludicrous decision to ban an advert that promotes women’s’ and girls rights. God how can they ban an advert that promotes equality for women? Shame on you Mary Davis and those other 4 women. You may be comfortable in your lives and good luck to you but there are millions of women worldwide who lives are a struggle, impoverished and in danger.

Women are victims of injustice, of discrimination and inequality worldwide and the degree to which it occurs depends on the part of the world we are in- from the glass ceiling in the developed world, to the marriage bar in Ireland of the 50’s, to Female Genital Mutilation, to Forced Labour and the Sex Trade, to the prevention of education for women in many developing countries, women are and have been abused and disadvantaged. Trocaire deals in the developing countries and this campaign is a real effort to develop projects to tackle some of these abuses against women. Well done Trocarire and as a women and mother I thank you for your efforts to improve disadvantaged womens lives, I will be supporting your campaign.

author by redjadepublication date Fri Mar 09, 2007 17:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I subscribe to the BCI's mailing list of announcements. I couldn't find this on the BCI's website, so I will post it in full here

BCI STATEMENT REGARDING TRÓCAIRE ADVERTISEMENT

http://bci.ie

The BCI has informed Trócaire today that the current version of its advertising campaign is in breach of the Radio and Television Act 1988. Following discussion with Trócaire, the BCI has considered an alternative broadcast version of the advert, and has deemed that this alternative version is in order under Section 10(3) of the Radio and Television Act, 1988.

Earlier this week, the BCI responded to a query raised by Today FM and provided an initial view that the original advertisement was contrary to Section 10 (3) of the 1988 Act, which states that “no advertisement shall be broadcast which is directed towards a religious or political end”.

The basis for the Commission’s decision to refuse the first version of the ad related to:

• The definition of a political end, as contemplated by the 1988 Act, is not confined to a party political end, but encompasses procuring a reversal of Government policy or particular decisions of Government
• The text of the advert calls upon people to support a Lenten campaign that has as one of its stated purposes, to call upon the Government to produce a National Action Plan and seeks public signatures for a petition in this regard. Therefore the campaign has a political objective as contemplated under the legislation
• It is the BCI’s view that the campaign, as described by Trócaire itself, has as one of its key objectives the procurement of changes in Government policy or decisions so as to prioritise, implement or influence governmental action.

The rationale for the decision to accept the revised script is that it focuses on Trócaire’s social, humanitarian and fundraising agenda which does not present any conflict with the prohibition on political advertising.

Speaking about the decision, Michael O’Keeffe, Chief Executive of the BCI stated “The Commission is very pleased to have resolved this issue to the satisfaction of both parties and particularly welcomes the co-operation of Trócaire in reaching a successful outcome”.

author by iosaf mac dpublication date Fri Mar 09, 2007 17:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

it only requires that one word be adjusted or voiced-over or re-recorded. Complex problems as I always say call for Complex minds to provide Simple solutions.

These babies have been born with something which effects more people than malaria, cancer or even HIV and AIDS - Because of it many of them will be denied an education and condemned to a life of poverty, thousands of them will be killed -millions more will be victimised and abused because all these babies have one thing in common -

they're black.

Of course if that's not politically correct enough you could use "african" instead of "black" or be really sophisticated and say "poor".

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