Factories closed due to cash flow problem ? Malie

Date: January 1, 1970
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The story concerns the recent sudden closure of some textile factories that left thousands of Basotho jobless.

This article may be used in training to:
Exemplify how a gender perspective could have been brought into and therefore strengthened this important economic story.
Trainer’s notes
An important innovation in the GMMP in 2005 is to disaggregate sources according to their function; in other words in what capacity were they approached to give information: as the subject, as an official spokesperson; as an expert or commentator; to reflect on a personal experience; as an eye witness; to give a view as part of a popular opinion poll or in any other capacity. The first two categories may be regarded as primarily providing facts or information; while the last four provide verification, analysis, insight and context.
The sole source in the story is the Minister of Industry, Trade, Cooperatives and Marketing Mpho Malie who blames the closure of the industries on the exchange rate. He added that HIV/AIDS is taking a heavy toll on factory workers. Textile factories employ a high proportion of women in Lesotho. Women are also disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. Yet no women are interviewed. Their views would not only have added a human face to the story but may have yielded opinions on whether the government had done enough to keep the factories open, to support people living with HIV/AIDS etc. This may have completely changed the angle of the story. For example, instead of being a story on factories closing, it may have been a protest story on the government not doing enough to protect the rights of workers and the livelihoods of families.
Some training exercises
Ask the students to speculate on the various possible alternative ways in which the writer could have projected the gender of the workers rather than merely stating their ethnicity. Ask the students to rewrite the story with imagined women workers as sources and to discuss how each other’s summary differs from the main story.

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