Facilitate trade and investment in the region

Date: December 14, 2012
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Name of story: To facilitate trade and investment in the region

Name of journalist:  redaction@lematinal.mu

Name of publication: Le Matinal                      

Date: 25th October 2012        

Country: Mauritius    

Theme: Economics, Education, Environment, Poverty, sustainable development, unemployment

Skills: Hard news vs soft news

Genre: News

GEM classification: Gender Blind

Description: The Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) will have a conference in New Delhi. The main themes covered will be the protection of the marine environment, regional trade and investment, fishing, harvesting of marine resources. The secretary from the Ministry of foreign affairs will represent Mauritius

Headline: The headline is only part of the article as trade and investment will be one aspect of the conference. The article includes other topics like marine protection and training for entrepreneurs. The headline should have been more explicit so as to grab the attention of a wide array of reader. This headline will interest only people in the financial and foreign department.

Sources: This article is presented as news with only the writer’s angle. The sex of the writer is unknown to the reader. But it is male dominated article starting with Mr Anund Neewoor, secretary at the Foreign Ministry representing Mauritius. The reader doesn’t know if there will be women’s representation at the conference.

Visual Images: The image shows the Secretary of the IOR_ARC. Once again the reader is geared towards a male dominated world. A woman reading this article might think this is not her area of interest when it is quite the opposite.
The image should have portrayed a man and a women discussing as the whole point of the conference is to discuss over urgent societal issues.

Story angle and perspective: The issue of trade and investment and marine protection is of extreme importance for a developing country like Mauritius. However, nothing has been said on women’s participation in this forum. The SADC gender protocol clearly states that there has to be equal representation in economic and trade by 2015. How can a debate of such importance happen with the equal participation of women? During the conference 11 foreign Ministers, 5 state ministers and 3 general directors will be discussing. In most of the countries represented, there are no women who form part of the group of ministers, except for Maite Nkoana Mashabane, South Africa Minster of Relations and cooperation.
The United States requested to be part of the debate and bring into lights urgent matters like poverty alleviation, job creation and training for professional entrepreneurial skills. Women in Mauritius and in the African region need formation and training to be able make sustainable investment and to compete internationally. All these topics will highly influence women. Women are now infiltrating the fishing industry and it is fair that they should give their voice during international forum like the IOR-ARC. Woman form part of 51.8% of the country but their voices is not heard in this article.

Placement or positioning:   The article is among the main news as it is on page 5 and is prominent on the paper. This shows that the news is important for the Mauritian population.

d)     Training exercises: Since it is a conference on societal issues, is gender being taken into account?
Women are now taking up man’s job. Will they make a difference if they join the marine industry?
More women are joining the job market. With the already quite high level of unemployment what provision are they making to accommodate everyone?

e)     Other training resources:

SADC gender Protocol article 15-19
SADC Gender Protocol Barometer Mauritius 2012

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