After the GEM Summit: Whats next?

After the GEM Summit: Whats next?

Date: December 9, 2010
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Following the in-country consultations in August and September 2010 and the regional launch at the fourth Gender and Media Summit, in-country launches of the Gender and Media Progress Study, are underway in the region.

The first launch was held in Namibia on 25 October. Gender Links shared the findings with media and civil society organisations brought together by the Namibian Ministry of Gender and Child Welfare. Five media houses that participated in the study were represented at the launch.

The South African launch was held in close collaboration with the South African National Editors’ Forum on 21 November. The Editors’ body got a glimpse of the slow pace of progress when it comes to gender in media content.

Mozambique’s GMPS launch was held in early November. The GMPS was also launched in Malawi on 6 December and in Mauritius on 8 December.

Regulatory processes

Gender Links’ work with regulators gained momentum after the GEM Summit. The Media Council of Malawi (MCM), which was represented at the Summit, has indicated a willingness to review their existing policy documents to integrate gender. In light of these developments, MCM is holding a meeting with Gender Links at its offices in Lilongwe to agree on how best to take the process forward. The likely outcome of this meeting is a workshop with council members to review the draft policy documents.

Media Literacy
Following the Gender and Media Literacy meeting that was held prior to the Summit, the media department has begun rolling out its media literacy course with academic institutions. The course will use the toolkit Watching the watchdogs: A gender and media literacy tool kit for Southern Africa. We envisage that this process will assist academic institutions to understand and appreciate the importance of mainstreaming gender in journalism and media training. In the long run, academic institutions can adopt components of the gender and media literacy course into their curriculum.

So far, the Department of Journalism and Media Education at the National University of Science and Technology (Zimbabwe) has held the course and 30 first year students were trained. Outputs expected from NUST include blogs, media case studies and an expectation that lecturers will identify gender entry points in the modules they teach.

In South Africa, Gender Links, in collaboration with the University of Limpopo, trained media practitioners from community radio stations and also lecturers from the Department of Media Studies at the University of Limpopo.

Three institutions have confirmed the undertaking of the gender and media literacy course in January 2011. These are Malawi Polytechnic (journalism lecturer and staff from the newly established Gender Unit); National University of Malawi (27 media students) and University of Botswana (30 media students). Other institutions are yet to confirm.

Gender and Media Diversity Journal

One major output of the GEM Summit will be Issue Nine of the Gender and Media Diversity Journal (GMDJ), covering case studies from the Summit. This journal will be published early next year. It was decided in the GMDC Advisory Group meeting before the Summit that the GMDJ will be partially peer-reviewed and accredited. A review committee was nominated at this meeting and they are: Bernadette Killian (University of Dar es Salaam), Francis Chikunichuzeni (University if Malawi), Eno Akpabio (University of Botswana) and Jennifer Elle Lewis (Gender Links). While this decision will not affect the upcoming journal, it will apply for GMDJ Issue Ten forward.

Click here to view past journals.

Gender Links launches Lusophone Opinion and Commentary Service
Study after study finds that women’s voices are missing from the media; nowhere in southern Africa more than Mozambique.

In fact, the 2010 Gender and Media Progress Study (GMPS) found that Mozambique was the only country that went backwards as far as women sources in the news.

Because of this, Gender Links has officially launched a Lusophone Opinion and Commentary Service which will aim to increase women’s representation in the Portuguese language media.

In 2003, only 15% of news stories monitored in Mozambique quoted a woman.   This number dropped to 14% in 2009. In addition, findings from the GMPS noted that the country also fell to 2% from 5% in the number of stories on HIV and AIDS when compared to a 2006 study on HIV and AIDS in SADC media.

Because of these findings, Gender Links decided to put an extra effort into Portuguese-speaking SADC countries by launching the Lusophone service, which will be run out of Maputo. Gender Links already runs both an English and Francophone Commentary Service.

The Service officially got underway in Maputo from 18-19 November when two workshops were held with Mozambican journalists as the Hotel Cardoso. Knight Fellow Mercedes Sayagues, GL Board Member Eduardo Namburete and GL Communications Manager Danny Glenwright facilitated workshops for more than 25 journalists and activists.  

The Gender Links Opinion and Commentary Service is an innovative project committed to providing provocative, timely and topical articles on issues related to gender in the SADC region and beyond. As of November 2010, the Service has produced more than 650 stories in both English and French which have been published in media outlets throughout the SADC region.

Traditional media in the form of newspapers continue to be the main source of news for many in SADC and in countries like Angola and Mozambique, one of the only platforms to discuss civil society issues. In Mozambique, there is a rich, diverse history of print media and the number of national and small community newspapers has continued to grow in the past ten years, with a great plurality in newspaper ownership.

Gender Links is looking forward to becoming an active player in the region’s Lusophone media.   Stay tuned for the first Portuguese language stories which will be featured on the GL website in the coming weeks!

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