Editor’s note

Editor’s note

Date: December 13, 2011
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Welcome to Issue 23 of the Diversity Exchange, the last for the year 2011!

The buzz- word during November and parts of December has been COP 17. The global climate change conference ran from 28 November to 9 December. Researchers, activists, ministers youth, faith based organisations and journalists among other groups attended this conference which was marred by controversy as well as disagreements. Gender Links (GL) in partnership with the African Woman and Child Feature Service (AWCFS) produced a daily e-newsletter which featured gender reporting on climate change.

loveLife, a potential GMDC partner and South Africa’s largest HIV prevention programme for young people, took part in COP 17 through the event’s Climate Train and African Youth for Climate Change summit from 27 November to 3 December. The summit’s aimed to support African youth in strengthening their responses to climate change with the ultimate goal of helping them understand and address the impact of global warming. loveLife also produced audio clips on the climate change campaign which sought to highlight the relationship between environmental health and HIV and AIDS.

The power of advertising and social media networking cannot be under stated. If there is any one company whose advertising one has to keep up with, it has to be Nandos. The company is known to create adverts that are controversial. They take the cup for being creative. A few weeks ago they made fun of South African politics, the Protection of Information Bill (POIB), by releasing a blacked-out ad after the bill passed through South Africa’s National Assembly. Their latest controversial advert is called “Last Dictator Standing”. (http://www.mealfor6.co.za/) As of Saturday 10 December, the YouTube video had been viewed 534,613 times.

On 21 November, the University of Mauritius’ Mass Communications Unit in partnership with the Gender Links (GL) Francophone Office in Mauritius launched the research on Gender in Media Education (GIME). In total, 104 participants (84 female and 20 male) including academics, media practitioners, students and representatives of NGOs attended the launch. The Minister of Gender Equality, Mireille Martin officially launched the report.

In November 2011, 11 civil society organisations in South Africa including Gender Links joined forces to put together a UPR on human rights on the internet status update for South Africa. The submission focuses on: freedom of expression; the right to information; freedom from censorship; freedom of the press; the right to privacy; and the importance of affordable access to the internet.

Between 25 November and 10 December every year, the world celebrates the Sixteen Days of Activism. In a letter addressed to UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon to mark International Day on the Elimination of violence against women and girls, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) pointed at the extreme levels of violence women journalists’ face while carrying out their professional duties.

The GMDC has put out a call for applications for the January to June 2012 internship. Students from Southern Africa universities, who have to do experiential learning as part of their learning, are encouraged to apply.

The GMDC knowledge hub is offering new information which can be used by trainers and researchers for topics related to gender, media and diversity. Each issue highlights three items from each of our databases: newspaper clippings, case studies, research and publications. Our “Mirror on the media” section provides an analysis of Lindiwe Mazibuko, who is rising high on the South African political index.

Finally, the GMDC will soon be signing an MOU with Lovelife, an NGO based in Johannesburg, South Africa.


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