Le Defi  Media Group Institutional profile

Le Defi Media Group Institutional profile

Date: July 3, 2013
  • SHARE:

Promoting women’s voices at Le Defi

As media, our job is to create a platform for all Mauricians, especially women, to make their voices heard. I particularly enjoy writing about women who have defied the odds are inspiring other women to do the same. –Jamillah Jaddoo.

The slogan to promote women’s voices is evident from the moment the Gender Links team sat down with the Le Defi to check progress on their gender policy implementation. The team, led by Head of Human Resources, is comprised of three women and one man. This speaks to Le Defi’s efforts to ensure that women’s voices are heard. This is just not in media content, but even in the workspace.

Le Defi became a Centre of Excellence for Gender in the Media in 2011. The media house signed an MOU with Gender Links signalling the beginning of a long journey to mainstream gender in institutional practice and content. Whilst change cannot happen overnight, there is already evidence showing that the media house takes gender mainstreaming seriously. The enthusiasm with which Le Defi embraced the idea of putting in place a policy framework to guide its operations is a strong indication that there is commitment from management.

With support from Gender Links Mauritius, Le Defi adopted its gender policy in 2012. This document covers the entire media house, with special emphasis on policy working environment, editorial content and marketing and advertising.

Gender mainstreaming was a relatively new concept to Le Defi when GL came on board. There were no deliberate efforts to make gender an issue and include the voices of women and men in all stories. Everything was left to chance, with no deliberate policy framework for gender mainstreaming. This evidently, showed in the output with women’s voices constituting just 15% of news sources at Radio Plus, 21% at Defi Plus and 23% at Le Dimanche during the 2010 Gender and Media Progress Study, (GMPS).

Likewise, women constituted 38% of employees at the media house as revealed in the Gender Links 2009 Glass Ceilings in Mauritius study.

With the development and adoption of the media house gender policy, there is heightened awareness around the gender gaps existing in content as well as institutional practice. There are now deliberate efforts to include the voices of women in everything that Le Defi does. This starts at the institutional level where there are now conscious efforts to increase women’s representation in decision making.

At Radio Plus, for example, there are four female senior editors. To show that women’s potential is recognised, Le Defi has four women clusters leaders, out of a potential seven. Cluster leaders constitute the interview panels at the media house. In essence, this means that women’s opinions on who gets hired matters.

In just over a year after signing the MOU, Le Defi has started ensuring that gender is also taken seriously in the editorial department, with more female journalists venturing into previously male dominated areas like photography. There are now two female photojournalists in a department that was previously a male zone. The actuality section, which looks at current affairs, now has more female journalists. This increase in female employees is happening across departments, although the visible changes have been in the editorial department.

In editorial content, Le Defi tries to highlight the gender inequalities in Mauritius. Gender based violence is one area that is under-reported in the media. The editor says they try to have gender specific topics in the weekly publications. These include women’s political participation, women’s economic empowerment and women’s access to education.

In line with its vision to increase women’s voices, Le Defi has dedicated a section to ‘Women’s voices,’ a section that seeks to give women from different backgrounds a platform to share their stories. These stories encourage and inspire other women to take control of their lives and strive for the best.



Comment on Le Defi Media Group Institutional profile

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