Political parties in Africa through a gender lens

One of the persistent democratic deficits throughout the world is women’s lack of influence in politics. In relation to political parties in particular, the voice of women in decision-making remains insufficient, and, in some cases, is non-existent. This report is based on the findings of a two-year project implemented by International IDEA, aimed at analysing the commitments of political parties to gender equality in 33 countries in Africa. One of the key findings from this research is that, although political parties’ constitutions and manifestos contain general gender equality commitments, their utility is limited by the lack of concrete measures to ensure that commitments are translated into effective actions and outcomes.

December 22, 2014 Themes: Gender equality | Politics Programs: Book | Gender and Media Diversity Centre (GMDC)

The Zimbabwe drive towards equality in decision making positions

The findings of this report reveal that Zimbabwe has constitution that still does not regard women as equal. Other challenges that face women in their quest to take part in governance include the hostile political terrain, limited financial resources and the lack of confidence of the electorate in the leadership of women, inter party violence and the lack of a commitment from government to empowering women. The constitution making process underway offers a window of opportunity to empower women.

In pursuit of justice: 2011-2012 Progress of the World’s Women

This book looks at the current state of affairs of women throughout the world in relation to legal systems. The report covers the following main issues: legal frameworks, the justice chain, legal pluralism and justice for women, and justice for women during and after conflict. The report also looks at gender justice and the millennium development goals. The report goes into detail on each of the issues listed above in relation to women and their role in improving justice for women. It starts with a paradox: the past century has seen a transformation in women’s legal rights, with countries in every region expanding the scope of women’s legal entitlements.

December 22, 2014 Programs: Book | Gender and Media Diversity Centre (GMDC)

Media and gender: A scholarly agenda for the Global Alliance on Media and Gender

This volume is divided into four main sections which include gender based violence, media and information; women’s access to media; gender and media policies and strategies and gender and media education and information literacy. UNESCO has co-operated with the International Association of Communication Researchers in preparing this publication.
This book was prepared before the ahead of the Global Forum on Media and Gender in Bangkok in 2013. The aim is to apply the political weight of feminist theory towards the real life practical advancement of women in society. There is potential for media to make a much greater contribution to the advancement of women. Women should be empowered by enhancing their skills, knowledge and access to media and information technology.
UNESCO intends that this publication should contribute to the existing body of knowledge on the topic. If gender equality is to be achieved in and through the media, journalism education institutions must interface with media organisations and media policy makers.

Model curricula for journalism education: A compendium of new syllabi

This compendium of new syllabi represents UNESCO’s strategic response to
the question: How can journalism education continue to renew itself? This is the
question that the Third World Journalism Education Congress (WJEC-3) posed
to its delegates. There are two aspects to this question. The first recognizes
the historical trajectories through which journalism education has evolved. The
second is a call to renegotiate the future trajectory of journalism education.
These questions are framed in an increasingly complex social, political and
economic context. In the aftermath of the 2008 global economic and financial
crisis, journalism faced its most trying moment, especially in the developed world.
And so did journalism education, posing challenges for the future. As Howard
Finberg noted during a speech to the European Journalism Centre (EJC), ‘We need to innovate inside the classroom with new forms of teaching. We need to innovate to make getting a journalism education easier’ (2012). Partly in response to this call for innovation, Dane S. Claussen points to an important study by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, which concluded that US journalism needed, among other things, analytical thinkers with a strong ethical sense, as well as journalism skills, specialized expertise, including insights into medicine, economics and other complex topics, and first-hand knowledge of societies, languages, religions and cultures (Claussen, 2012).

Such a role of journalism, incorporating different strands of knowledge, is clearly
recognized globally, beyond the United States of America (USA). For example,
as Berger and Foote (2013) note, genuine university training in journalism is not
only a practice within the rubric of academic freedom, it should (and often does)
operate to promote freedom of expression rights and access to journalistic skills
and platforms to gain such rights. Another journalism education-related freedom
is the freedom to use the learning provided. Journalism skill sets are easily
transferable to other fields. In some cases, students study journalism with no
intention to enter the profession. Instead they learn high-level information and
eight communication skills to further their liberal arts studies or to pursue a related

December 3, 2014 Themes: Education | Media Programs: Book | Gender and Media Diversity Centre (GMDC)

Model Curricula for Journalism Education for Developing Countries and Emerging Democracies

The proposed Journalism Curricula is a generic model that can be adapted according to each country’s specific needs. It takes full cognizance of the social, economic, political and cultural contexts […]

December 3, 2014 Themes: Education | Media | Xenophobia Programs: Book

Gender in Media Education: An audit of Gender in Journalism & Media Education and Training

Gender in Media Education: An audit of Gender in Journalism & Media Education and Training

The Gender in Media Education in Southern Africa (GIME) is the most comprehensive audit yet undertaken of the gender dimensions of journalism and media education and training in tertiary institutions in Southern Africa.

Reality Check: Women in leadership positions in Uganda

Taking stock of women in decision making is premised on the understanding that women’s participation is critical to effective governance. According to the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women it is of the utmost importance to have equal numbers of men and women in decision making positions.

FOWODE believes that if women were empowered to participate at various levels in the country, the resulting policies, laws, plans and budgets would favour and strengthen the women’s empowerment process in Uganda.

The objective of this study was to document the status of women in decision making positions within selected public institutions in order to understand government and other actors’ commitment to the inclusion of women in decision making.

The study set out to establish the existing numbers of women in decision making at different levels in selected public institutions and examine the implications of the current status of women in decision making on Uganda’s social, economic and political development.

Familiar claims: Representations of same-gendered families in South African mainstream news media

From the Introduction: There has been significant reform of South African legislation pertaining to same-gendered families. The Constitution supports the rights of gay men and lesbians to establish life partnerships or, more recently, to enter into civil unions, to adopt children, keep custody of their own children in divorce proceedings, and to undertake co-parenting of their created families. Despite-or maybe because of-these developments, public debate on these issues is as lively and vociferous as it has ever been. At the time of writing this chapter, for instance, a veteran journalist published a column in a national newspaper in which he denounced same-gendered family “arrangementsÀ as “neither the norm nor ultimately desirableÀ (Mulholland, 2013). Children in same-gendered families must be informed of this, he claimed. His argument was unsupported, save for unsubstantiated claims regarding the unnaturalness of same-gendered families, which defy “the natural order of thingsÀ, and the vehement refusal that “same-sex matrimony is the same as that of heterosexualsÀ (Mulholland, 2013). Mulholland’s column, which met with outrage by various activists and academics, demonstrates some of the ideas that circulate in public discussion of same-gendered families: concerns regarding the differences between homosexual and heterosexual families and the effects that these ‘differences’ might have on children living in ‘alternative’ families. In this chapter, we examine the public discussion, focusing on South African print media as a key site where debate has occurred. Recognising that the discussion of LGBTI issues in South Africa has increased in visibility over time, focusing on stories about coming out, rights, transgressions, stigma, discrimination and violence, this chapter concentrates on the public discussion in local print media that centre on ‘alternative’ family arrangements that are in contrast to a traditional heterosexual nuclear family. Drawing on a selection of print media reportage, we examine the social and public discourses that underpin and resist normative meanings associated with ‘the family’ as a social unit and, specifically, how same-gendered families (often rendered invisible and pathologised) are constructed within this material.

November 3, 2014 Themes: Children | LGBTI | Media Programs: Book | Gender and Media Diversity Centre (GMDC)

NGO Shadow report to CEDAW 2011: Supplementing and commenting on Norway’s 8th Periodic Report on the Impementatio of CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women)

The report is a joint initiative by 30 Norwegian NGOs. Each organisation has contributed their expertise and knowledge in their particular field. The issues raised in particular sections reflect the concerns and the expertise of these organisations. This does not mean that all the supporting organisations. This does not mean that all the supporting organisations necessarily endorse all the specific policy recommendations, where these are outside their remit.