Gender supremo urges women to contest polls

Date: January 1, 1970
  • SHARE:

During a four day workshop ahead of the local government elections in Lesotho, the director in the Ministry of Gender urges women to contest for political office.

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
Stories that specifically focus on the issue of gender equality (or lack of it) are still rare. In the GMMP, both the global and regional average stood at 4%. This is a slight improvement on the GMBS in which gender specific stories stood at 2%.
It should be emphasised, however, that given the significance of the struggle for gender equality – referred to “as the greatest social revolution of our time” after apartheid in Southern Africa in the GL study Ringing up the Changes – the proportion and depth of stories specifically on gender equality is pathetically low in the region and across the globe. As the global report asks, why are there so few stories on gender inequality in all the mainstream areas: politics, the economy, sports etc?
In part, this may be because reporters have not been able to find innovative ways of covering the issue. This observation points to the need not only to intensify gender awareness training among media practitioners but to improve the professional reporting standards in the region generally.
The report notes that women are interested in contesting the forthcoming local government elections, but does not interview any of them nor give statistics on the current level of women’s representation in local government. The report adds that men are slowly coming around to the importance of women’s political participation, but does not quote any of them. The headline, Gender supremo urges women to contest polls could come across as intimidating to some readers, especially men.
Given that at least 30 women aspirants attended the workshop, a more interesting approach would have been to interview some of these; their hopes and aspirations and the obstacles they anticipate. Including the perspective of men would not only help to achieve gender balance but shed insight into the challenges faced. These voices are central to moving the story from one that is about an event to a news analysis or feature story that gets behind the event to bring out the human interest dimensions of the story.
Some training exercises
Give the students a copy of the story to read. Ask each of them to note down whom they would have interviewed if they were covering the story.  Make note of all the sources that they would have accessed. Discuss the findings and how this approach may have strengthened or weakened the story. For example, let them discuss how different the story could have appeared if the writer had used some direct quotations from the female participants at the workshop rather than paraphrase their views. Ask the students to reflect on whether interviewing male politicians on the place of women in Lesotho politics would have made the story gender balanced.

Download : LES GMM PCS 2

Comment on Gender supremo urges women to contest polls

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *