Southern African Audit of Gender in Media Education

Date: July 1, 2010
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The Audit of Gender in Media Education in Southern Africa (GIME) has been completed and will be launched at the World Journalism Educators Congress (WJEC) from July 5 – 7th, 2010. The WJEC will serve as a final platform to receive feedback on the audit before it goes to print.

The GIME is the most comprehensive study undertaken of the gender dimensions of journalism and media education and training in tertiary institutions in Southern Africa. The study was administered in 25 institutions in 13 countries: Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, between October 2009 and April 2010. The study was undertaken by Gender Links (GL), through the Gender and Media Diversity (GMDC), a partnership between media development NGOs and knowledge institutions.

The GIME study aimed to:

  • Establish whether or not gender is integrated in media education and training.
  • Identify gaps in current media/journalism education and training in Southern Africa with regard to mainstreaming gender in the curriculum.
  • Determine whether or not GL’s, as well as other gender and media texts, materials and electronic resources are used in media education and training in the departments of media education and journalism training at institutions in Southern Africa.
  • Use the findings to develop strategic interventions to ensure sustained gender mainstreaming in media education and training.

Key Facts:

  • The audit covered 13 Southern African countries and 25 institutions.
  • A total of 321 individuals were interviewed, comprising 67 staff and 254 students comprising 53% female and 47% male respondents. Of this demographic, 34 staff and 136 students were females.
  • 32% of institutions fielded have a stand-alone Gender Policy and 44% have a Sexual Harassment Policy.
  • Females comprise 61% of staff and 38% of students.
  • In most institutions audited, the numbers of female students enrolled begins to decline at the Masters’ and Doctorate degree levels.
  • 46% of respondents stated that gender is considered in curriculum review, but only 12% have a person or committee responsible for ensuring gender mainstreaming in the curriculum.
  • Training of lecturers was noted as being most important in gender mainstreaming at institutional level.
  • Media and journalism students receive very little theoretical grounding in gender.
  • Few institutions have gender integrated into course content, less have stand-alone gender modules and there is a lack of gender related course materials.
  • There is a fair degree of gender awareness among staff and students are eager to learn about gender.
  • Gender considerations are not incorporated into assessments of student and staff performance.
  • There is a lack of student and staff research on gender.

Next steps include:

  • Develop an online Community of Practice for media and journalism educators to exchange experiences and best practices.
  • Create gender-responsive policies for human resources, staff development and student enrolment.
  • Draft guidelines on how to incorporate gender into media education, as well as mechanisms for M & E
  • Review curriculum to identify ways to incorporate gender into teaching.
  • Construct stand-alone modules on gender and the media.
  • Carry out training of trainers to enhance the capacity of lecturers to teach on gender.
  • Incorporate texts and materials from Africa and the Global South to the institutions body of knowledge.
  • Build the research capacity of lecturers to undertake research on gender and media issues
  • Seek experiential learning exchanges for students with gender rights organisations.

To read more about the GIME study, click here.

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