Gender Violence and Public Communication Policies in Argentina: Advances and Setbacks until 2017

The Foundation for the Development of Sustainable Policies (FUNDEPS) and the Civil Association Communication for Equality present a report on the functioning of public policies on gender and communication, from the assumption of the current national government.

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At the beginning of 2016, from the Foundation for the Development of Sustainable Policies and the Civil Association Communication for Equality, a report called “Violence against women and public communication policies” was produced, which gives an account of the state of public policies on communication and gender in Argentina and the state bodies that, until the end of 2015, were in charge of implementing them. That report was based on an extensive investigation that gathered data through formal requests, formulated in the exercise of the right to access information; complaints to the corresponding bodies in cases of media and symbolic violence and interviews with members of these bodies and civil society organizations.

In 2018, we made a report on the application of such policies from the assumption of the current national government. In it, the main changes evidenced in the last two years are analyzed, based on the information obtained through new requests for information formulated before the corresponding bodies during the year 2017 and through interviews and information search through the official channels of each dependency.

The bodies studied are: ENACOM, Public Defender, INAM, INADI, Observatory of Discrimination in Radio and TV, Office of Monitoring of Publication of Notices of Sexual Commerce.

The measures and public policies implemented by these organizations had modifications. Although some that can be considered advances, many others weaken the achievements made in the protection of the audiences, mainly of the vulnerable sectors; both from a gender perspective and from the right to communication as a human right.

The analysis carried out aims to account for the transformations in the field of communication, specifically in relation to gender issues, during the last two years and since the change in government management in December 2015. In line with the changes that followed public communication policies from then on, the specific areas linked to gender also underwent transformations that, although not yet completely defined, imply for several of the agencies a brake on the programs that were carried out and, after two years after the start of the new administration, it is not clear yet what will be the future direction of the public communication and gender policies that were developed in Argentina as of 2010.

Main conclusions

  • Although the decrees and resolutions that have affected Law 26,522 on Audiovisual Communication Services do not directly operate on gender policies, the actions of several of the State agencies dedicated to the implementation of these policies have undergone modifications. Some of them represent advances, but others weaken the achievements made in the protection of the audiences.
  • The defiance of the Ombudsman’s Office -one of the relevant bodies in the application of communication and gender policies, and with international recognition- is one of the negative aspects of the paradigm that we call “transition” in current communication and gender policies from Argentina. In spite of this accretion, the organism continues to operate successfully within the permitted margins.
  • We also negatively evaluate the lack of access to information by ENACOM, which accounts for the obstacles existing for the purposes of monitoring the actions of state bodies by citizens. However, we value the action of the same -evaluated through indirect mechanisms- which is revealed in an increase in resolutions and in the consideration of the rights of women and the LGTBI community as autonomous causes of violation of rights.
  • There seems to be a transformation in the functions of the Office of Monitoring of Sexual Offer Notices that would cease to exercise its sanctioning capacity and focusing its actions only on digital media and assistance to the Judicial Power.
  • The Observatory for Discrimination in Radio and Television was dissolved informally, a tripartite body with an outstanding performance during the last 10 years; neither is it possible to access the pedagogical heritage generated by it.
  • The Observatory of Symbolic and Mediatic Violence was created within the scope of INAM, with competence in all types of media.
  • INAM expanded its action in communication policies through the National Plan of Action against Violence with policies that have not yet been delivered in a measurable manner.
  • The draft laws of convergent communications from different political sectors have included almost nil considerations of gender, although they have had a relative receptivity towards the proposals that have been sent to them from civil society.

More information


Virginia Pedraza – vir.pedraza@fundeps.org

Sandra Chaher – sandrachaher@comunicarigualdad.com.ar