Girls Abduction in Lesotho on the Rise, The Mirror

Date: January 1, 1970
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Young girls in Lesotho are sexually abused, abducted and forced into early marriages.
Young girls in Lesotho are sexually abused, abducted and forced into early marriages.

This article may be used to:

  • Look at the coverage of gender-based violence in the media.
Trainer’s notes
The article attempts to explore the forms of gender-based violence inflicted on girls in . It raises, through the sources accessed, factors such as culture and tradition, gender roles and the insensitivity of the police to gender violence which fuel violence against young women, but the story is poorly constructed and the central angle is unclear.
This article originates from a workshop (an event) and is based only on the sources who spoke during the workshop. The story does not explore the issue of an increase in the abduction of young girls as indicated in the headline. Instead the focus of the story is on the factors that reinforce gender violence, especially violence against young girls, in . Therefore it is not clear from the information presented in the story whether the kidnapping of girls is on the increase or not.
The case study used to introduce the article is too long and the reporter does not link it well to the other information given in the story. It is also not clear from the story if young girls are only abducted and forced into early marriages, or whether young girls also are forced into sex trafficking. The case study only illustrates one type of abduction.
The data provided also does not clarify nor does it give any more information to the reader. It is based on 2000 estimates and the reporter does not indicate whether these figures have been updated. And there is no information on what forms of abduction comprise the 588 reported cases.
The story also does not situate the issue within a context. For example, is reported to have a high number of orphans and AIDS-orphans who live on the streets and who are vulnerable to gender-based violence, especially sexual abuse.
The reporter should have used the information from the workshop only as a peg for further interviews with young girls, women and men and other civil society groups(eg the Lesotho Child Protection group) to further complement the voices in the story.
Training exercises
Exercise one: Read the article and discuss the following:
  1. Who are the sources in the story? How many are female? How many are male?
  2. What are the occupations of the sources?
  3. What forms of gender-based violence are raised in the article?
  4. Is the story informative? Why or why not? Explain answer
  5. Is the headline appropriate? Explain answer.
  6. Identify the weaknesses in the story, e.g. angle of the story; approach to issue; diversity of sources and information; use of data; depth and context; gender analysis of the issue. Elaborate on the weaknesses found and how the story could have been done.

 Exercise two: The focus of this story is lost in the poor construction, long sentences and grammatical errors.

  1. Identify the angle of the story and re-write it re-ordering the information provided to produce a more coherent piece.

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