Gender and press freedom

Date: May 16, 2011
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– Men are the predominant employees in media houses in Southern Africa. Men constitute 59% of the employees in media houses compared to 41% women.

– Only two countries have achieved the parity target: Lesotho has the largest percentage of women (73% women compared to 27% men) employed in media houses, followed by South Africa with equal percentages of women and men (50/50). Seychelles, with 49% women, is a close third.

– Four countries are below the one third mark These are Mozambique (27%); Malawi (23%); DRC (22%) and Zimbabwe (13%).

– Women constitute a little over a quarter of the directors on media house boards: The governance structures of media houses in Southern Africa are firmly in the hands of men (72%), with women constituting only 28% of those on boards of directors.

– Top management: Only 23% of the top managers in media houses in Southern Africa are women. The only country in the region with 50% or more women in top management is Lesotho (56%), followed by Namibia with 42% women in top management. Only 11% of the top managers in Zambia are women, and Seychelles, the lowest, has no women in top management.

– Women hit the ‘glass ceiling’ in the media at senior management positions: Women constituted between 20-39% of the senior managers in media houses in 10 of the 14 countries and only one, Lesotho, had 50% women as senior managers. On average, however, women are only 28% of those in senior management positions in the region, pointing to where they meet their first challenge of breaking into the higher echelons of media management.

Source: Gender and Media Glass Ceiling Research

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