Fourth Gender and Media Summit Awards – Citations

Fourth Gender and Media Summit Awards – Citations

Date: November 3, 2010
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The Gender and Media Summit, held on 13-15 October 2010, brought together media practitioners, trainers, gender activists and media regulators. The winners of the Media awards are listed below.


  • 119 entries, 82 by women, 37 by men in 9 categories
  • Submissions from 13 countries.
  • Winners from four countries: DRC, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe
  • 12 women won awards and two men won.
  • Two newsrooms were awarded for institutional excellence



Category: Print (News; Feature; Opinion and Commentary)

Print: News
Name of story: “Life lived in limbo”
Name of winner: Tanya Farber
Country: South Africa

In the judges’ words, “the entry was submitted with a good motivation and the journalist went out and sought a gender perspective on a big news story. She went out of her way to find a different angle that no one else would have covered”. The article is about the gender dimension of the xenophobia. In the wake of the xenophobia attacks that rocked South Africa during May 2008, very little awareness was created of the differential impact of the violence on women compared to men. The journalist was in her third trimester of a pregnancy and wanted to create awareness of what is was like for women in the refugee camps who were pregnant, or who had to give birth in those conditions. She travelled to the camps to find such women, and on seeing that she was heavily pregnant herself, they spoke openly to her.

Print: Opinion and Commentary
Name of story: Feminist motherhood
Name of winner: Sheena Magenya
Country: Namibia

As a feminist and a new mother, the issue of feminist motherhood became an important topic of discussion for the writer and many people, who had thought that motherhood would shake her out of her feminist activist persona. She comments that “being a mother has made me an even fiercer and feistier female because I have been presented with the opportunity and the task to participate in raising a new generation of men with the qualities that feminists and feminism advocate for”. At the end, she notes that “the idea that as a woman I make a better child-minder than a man is outdated, and men should have bigger if not equal hand to play in raising their children beyond giving them a name…it is about time that the term ‘father’ loses its ceremonial purpose and gains a functional one”. The article makes the reader think and questions traditional and conventional wisdom. “It is well written, easy and makes delightful reading” said one of the judges.

Print: Opinion and commentary
Name of story:
Runner up: Mila Paulo Kimbuini
Country: Democratic Republic of Congo

This is a new cutting edge topic around how new media is a new form of gender based violence. The writer proposes that laws be put in place to curb gender based violence. It also calls on society to be in solidarity with women who have suffered this indignity of ‘public digital violence’ and intrusion on their privacy.

Category: Radio (News, radio documentaries and talk shows)

(No winner, however special commendation)

Sub-category: Radio Talk show
Name of story: Three stories submitted
Name of journalist: Zeenat Abdool
Country: South Africa

The journalist submitted three stories on female genital mutilation, male circumcision and hijaab(headscarf), niqaab (face veil) and terrorism. The talk shows are very interesting and deal with issues that are not often talked about. Abdool gets special mention for her work and her interest in covering such gender issues.

Category: Community Radio (News and talk shows)

(No winner, however special commendation)

Sub-category: Community Radio Talk show
Name of story: Zvevanhurume ne vanhukadzi
Name of journalist: Emmanuel Nkomo
Country: Zimbabwe

This talk show explores the issue of HIV and AIDS. What is interesting is that the journalist goes out and talks to a person living with HIV and has started a support group. Unlike other stories on HIV that leave listeners drained, this one in particular is interesting constructive. It profiles how she came to discover her status and the challenges she faced. It traces the growth of the support group, encourages positive living and the importance of healthy eating. “This is a clean and smart effort of educating the public about HIV and AIDS. There are diverse voices and offers valuable messages and insights. It is an “I” story that offers the community an opportunity to see through her”.

Category: Television (News and Documentary)

Genre: Television documentary
Issue: A country for my daughter
Name of winner: Lucilla Blankenberg
Country: South Africa

South Africa has one of the highest rates of gender based violence in the world. This is despite the fact that the new constitutional order ushered in a different approach to the law as it relates to violence against women. In this documentary she questions whether South Africa is the country she wants her daughter to grow up in. It seeks to inform and empower South African women about their rights and the laws that are in place to protect them. “It is very informative and shows the gap between the constitution and people’s experiences of the law. She looked at different perspectives and travelled extensively in the country. She is a strong and empowered woman and the girl-child added depth to the documentary”.

Category: Beats (Gender violence, political participation and elections, HIV and AIDS and care work, sport)

Best practice: Gender violence
Name of story: Rape in marriage
Name of winner: Melini Moses
Country: South Africa

It is not often that a rape survivor is willing to speak openly about her ordeal. It is even more rare in cases where a woman has allegedly been raped by her husband. Being of Muslim faith where you are encouraged to deal with matters privately also reduces the chances of such a case becoming public. But one woman decided to break the silence and the journalist takes us on a journey through an emotional interview lasting several hours. This report talks about the emotional turmoil she went through, the questions she asked herself, the social stigma attached to such cases, and her fight to make sure no other woman in that situation simply sits back and accepts it. She boldly opened a case of rape against her now ex-husband. The journalists further probes how likely it is for justice to be served.” A very interesting piece, interesting angle and we have the survivor’s voice. It goes from a personal story to a broader social issue. It uses a variety and gives legal advice”.

Special Mention: Gender violence
Name of story: The silenced gender voices
Name: Darlington Mwendabai
Country: Zambia

Much has been said and written about gender based violence but little is known why men who are being labeled as perpetrators have purportedly continued to batter their wives. Men are the silenced voices in the fight against GBV and they have not freely come out on issues that affect them. This journalist goes into the rural area, and become part of a group of men who discuss on how they should curb gender violence in their community. The discussion attempted to show the rural folk that GBV does not only affect them but is also in urban areas. “It is an interesting story, great angle and is unique in that it tells the issue through male eyes”.

Best practices: Political participation and elections
Name of story: A difficult step for women
Name of winner: Fanjaniaina Saholiarisoa Alida
Country: Madagascar

The article is about women in politics and decision making. The writer supports her arguments with statistical data and questions whether her country will attain the 50-50 representation of women by 2015 as stipulated in the 2008 SADC Protocol on Gender and Development. She looks at some of the reasons why women do not make it in politics even when electoral systems favour their participation. One judge summed up the comments and said “good use of diverse sources and good structure”.

Category: Investigative Reporting (Sustained reporting on a particular issue)

Two winners (shared prize)

Name of story: Gender De-commissioned
Name of winner: Melini Moses and Busisiwe Ntuli
Country: South Africa

“The journalists talk to real people about real issues” said the judges. It has been 14 years since the national women’s movement lobbied for one of the most progressive efforts to entrench gender equality in all spheres of South African society. Government established the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE). But just how effective and relevant is the CGE. The story investigates whether the CGE is worth the millions of taxpayer’s money it receives annually. The journalists talk to abused women and test the CGE to see if they respond to requests for help.

Name of story: Forced sterilisations
Name of winner: Laura Lopez Gonzalez
Country: South Africa

In 2008, the International Community of Women with HIV/ AIDS (ICW) began reporting cases of forced sterilizations among Namibian members. The journalist did four articles around forced sterilizations. She travelled to Namibia to report on the sterilizations in both the capital and remote rural areas. She interviewed AIDS activists, lawyers, public sector and medical professionals. Upon returning to South Africa, she continued to investigate this relationship between stigma and pregnancy, culminating in the series of articles. The articles make an important contribution to our understanding of stigma and the need to advocate for the reproductive rights of women living with HIV. The judges said that forced sterilizations is an “excellent series of articles”.

Category: MAP Awards

Best practices: HIV and AIDS and the Media Institutional Excellence Award
Name of winner: Tribune
Country: Madagascar

Best practices: HIV and AIDS and the Media Institutional Excellence Award
Special Commendation: People’s Choice Radio
Country: Lesotho

The radio station has a gender sensitive HIV and AIDS Policy. The aim of their policy is “to make a contribution to the efforts being made by government and other sectors in mitigating the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS in Lesotho through broadcasting appropriate messages to its employees”. The policy framework takes into account workplace ethics such as non-discrimination, confidentiality, care and support. Further, it tackles issues of accuracy, holding decision-makers to account and ensuring that the voices and images of people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS are heard and seen.

Best practice: Gender and the Media
Name of winner: (Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation) Soondaree Devi Soborun
Country: Mauritius

The policy encourages women to apply for posts that are male dominated. It seeks to enhance a family friendly environment in providing among others – release for breastfeeding as per Labour Law; the grant of vacation leave to male officers following demise of a working wife after delivery of a non still born child. Particular attention is being paid to radio and television advertisements which are free from gender bias and which are not demeaning to women and men. For instance advertisements should not include images where women are portrayed as sexual objects.
Best practice: Gender and the Media
Name of runner up: (Capital Radio) Gloria Masanza
Country: Malawi

Since the adoption of the Gender Policy, the station is striving to ensure that all reporters, producers and editors receive gender sensitivity training and take gender into account in their work. The station should in addition build gender into long term and short term planning. The management has been very instrumental at all levels of the policy implementation.

Special Award: Tackling Taboo Topics
Name: Joyce Jenje Makwenda
Country: Zimbabwe

This award goes to a person who is committed to writing on gender equality issues, most of them usually deemed as taboo such as menstruation, women and shebeen business, motherhood etc. Her articles demonstrate thorough research and classic ideas.



Download : Awards ceremony speech

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