Gender and Media Regulation in Southern Africa

Date: July 9, 2011
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The Swaziland Media Complaints Commission (MCC), a self regulatory media body has been registered by the government of Swaziland after a long-drawn registration process spanning four years. According to the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), the registration of the MCC marks the end of a 14-year struggle by the media in Swaziland to operationalize media self-regulation.

This body will deal with media complaints and will help build better relations between the media and the public in Swaziland. The self-regulatory mechanism is founded upon the international doctrine of promoting an independent media system and building professional standards within the media fraternity. This development presents Gender Links (GL) with an opportunity to ensure that gender is mainstreamed in MCC’s policies in accordance with the provisions of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development.

The Gender Protocol, adopted by SADC Heads of States in August 2008, has 28 targets to be achieved by 2015. It has one time bound target for the media; the achievement of gender parity in media decision-making by 2015.The protocol however, encourages the media and media related bodies to mainstream gender in their codes of conduct, policies and procedures and adopt and implement gender-aware ethical principles, codes of practice and policies in accordance with the protocol on Culture. This is part of efforts to create a conducive and enabling environment for gender equality in media to flourish.

Since 2007 Gender Links (GL) has been working with regulatory authorities in the SADC region to support them in developing gender policies. Regulators are a strategic group in the greater struggle for gender equality ‘in and through the media.’ For gender equality to prevail there is need for a multi pronged approach which brings together key industry players. Regulators, responsive citizens and responsible media are key to media transformation.


Download : MISA press statement on the Swaziland Media Complaints Commission

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