Shaping a future of Rights through press freedom

Shaping a future of Rights through press freedom

Date: May 3, 2023
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World Press Freedom Day was celebrated on 3 May 2023.  This year is the 30th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day and is  being observed under the theme “Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights”

GL believes that Press freedom and gender equality intertwine: one cannot exist without the other. The idea of gender equality and equality of all voices exists implicitly in the notion of a pluralistic press, which should reflect the widest possible range of opinions. The fact that women’s voices make up only one fifth of the views and voices that citizens read, hear and see in the news media is clear evidence that SADC media reflects only a fraction of the region’s reality. Gender censorship remains a glaring reality in this absence of diverse voices. Underrepresentation of women’s voices systematically silences and sidelines women from conversations about issues that concern them.

Furthermore,  women journalists and media workers across the world are facing  increasing offline and online attacks  a situation which produces harmful outcomes that undermine the health of a democracy  .

The 2023 World Press Freedom Index, compiled annually by Reporters Without Borders (RSF),which is a barometer on the environment for journalism in 180 countries reveals that no Southern African country ranks among the global top 20. Of the 16 Southern African countries, Namibia continues to be the country with the strongest press freedom environment in the region, ranking 22nd in the latest index, while South Africa  sits in 25th  position and Seychelles is at 34th position in the global ranking.  DRC (124), Angola (125), Zimbabwe (126), Tanzania (143) sit among the worst global performers.

Through its gender media and ICTs work, Gender Links continues to advocate for increasing women’s voice in both editorial content and institutional practices . GL is currently working on enhancing women’s political participation through media  as well as focusing on improving gender responsive coverage of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.

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