Diversity Exchange, Issue 16 May 2011

Date: May 9, 2011
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Diversity Exchange Issue 16 | May 2011
Upcoming Events
GMDC Databases
– Case Studies
– Clippings
– Research
– Publications


Editor’s Note
by Saeanna Chingamuka

This 3 May marked 20 years of the Windhoek Declaration on Promoting Independent and Pluralistic Media, which was endorsed by UNESCO and the United Nations General Assembly in 1991. This endorsement ultimately led to the creation of 3 May as “World Press Freedom Day”. In 1991, heavy state control characterised much of the African media landscape. Following the Windhoek Declaration, things began to change. Acknowledging that media freedom is a necessary condition for democratisation, many African countries mainstreamed this into their constitutions in the first decade following the Declaration. At the Windhoek +10 conference in 2001, the right to press freedom was extended to include broadcasting freedom, which was brought about through the adoption of the African Charter on Broadcasting. Read more…

Getting it right: Gender indicators for newsrooms and news content
The recent International Women’s Media Foundation Global Report on the Status of Women in News Media has found that women are underrepresented or misrepresented in global newsrooms, from Lithuania to Lesotho. Other studies, including the Gender Links Gender and Media Progress Study and Glass Ceilings research have come up with similar conclusions. Although there is widespread acknowledgement that this gap exists, not all media practitioners know how to amend the problem. That is hopefully about to change. Read more…
IWMF launches the global glass ceiling report
A groundbreaking report on media houses in more than 500 countries has found that almost three quarters of top media jobs are held by men. The Global Report on the Status Women in the News Media, produced by the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) looked at newsrooms in 60 countries, finding that men occupy the vast majority of media jobs internationally. Read more…
Glass ceilings: Female journalists take action
Women continue to be underrepresented in positions of authority yet well represented in the lower echelons of media houses. In addition, they are under-utilised in “hard” news beats such as politics and the economy. These types of news beats are often the stepping stones to promotion into management. Because women are kept out of certain jobs, they reach a point in their careers where they are no longer able to advance. This scenario is referred to as hitting the “glass ceiling”. Read more…
Gender policy workshops in Mozambique and Swaziland
As a follow-up to the Glass Ceiling research and Gender and Media Progress Study (GMPS), which revealed that women are underrepresented as decision-makers and news sources in media, Gender Links conducted a gender policy drafting workshop for media in Swaziland from 10-11 March. The GMPS revealed that there was a one percentage point increase in the proportion of women sources since the 2003 Gender and Media Baseline Study (GMBS). Many media houses are now trying to address their policy gaps in order to address this issue. Read more…
GMPS launches in Swaziland and Mozambique
Gender Links has continued with its media advocacy work in the region, taking the GMPS findings to two more countries. The Swaziland report was launched in Mbabane on 10 March with the Mozambique launch following closely on 16 of March in Maputo. The GMPS in-county launches have given the media and audiences an opportunity to engage with their country-specific findings as well as to think about possible strategies to achieve gender balance in the media. Read more…
MIJ and SJMC participate in the media literacy course
The role of the media is to look critically at society, but who looks critically at the media? Media literacy is a key set of tools necessary for discerning media consumers to help them better understand the media they access. In the month of March, two training institutions participated in GL’s media literacy course: the Malawi Institute for Journalism (MIJ) and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Dar es Salaam (SJMC-Tanzania). Read more…
Women traders graduate!
Future media practitioners are not the only Southern African citizens benefiting from GL’s media literacy course. From October 2010 to January 2011, GL extended its gender and media literacy course to women traders based in the Johannesburg region. The traders work with ESSET, a local NGO that strives to address poverty through economic empowerment of women. The traders learned about women’s representation in the media and how to work with, and use, media, including how to produce brochures and business cards. Read more…
How effective is the Women Make the News Campaign?
Campaigns are used the world over to lobby and advocate for changes in practices, laws and policies guiding human development. March 2011 was notable as the world celebrated 100 years of International Women’s Day (IWD). As part of annual IWD activities, UNESCO took the lead in using the annual celebration to fight for equality in the media through a campaign called “Women Make the News Campaign (WMN).” Read more…
Partner News
Women’s issues have fallen off the media agenda
In South Africa, 333 rhinos were slaughtered due to poaching in 2010, more than double the 133 slaughtered in the previous year. The epidemic of rhino poaching has been very present in media headlines and coverage. Over that same time period, 197,000 cases of crimes against women were reported to the South African Police Service (SAPS), including murder, attempted murder, common assault, sexual offences, and assault to cause grievous bodily harm (GBV). It is worth noting that these are only the ones reported. The figures according to the “one in nine campaign” are likely to be ten times higher. Read more…
GL Opinion & Commentaries
Southern Africa: Give sportswomen an equal chance
It is humbling and inspiring to imagine what Southern Africa’s outstanding sportswomen had had to do in order to reach the top. Read more…
South Africa: Empowered faith, empowered women
While the Rainbow Nation is striving to support and empower women in many societal spheres, one wonders what is being done in churches, mosques and temples. Women are gaining seats in parliament, making strides in education and law reform; yet, domestic abuse, rape and incest remain at alarming rates. Read more…
South Africa: Are we all free this Freedom Day?
To those who were not part of the struggle for freedom, you might not understand the painful joy that filled South Africans on 27 April 1994. It was like a butterfly setting free from its cocoon, struggling to be free so that it may experience the radiance of the sun on its colourful back. It was not easy but it was worth it. South Africans pushed till the day they flapped their wings and felt the element of freedom, a South Africa for all. Read more…
Putting gender on the Windhoek Declaration agenda
On 3 May 2011, the world celebrated World Press Freedom Day. For Africa, the 2011 celebration is special as it marks 20 years of the Windhoek Declaration. However, there can be no press freedom in Africa until women’s voices are equally heard in the media. The questions that arise are, has the Windhoek Declaration enhanced media ownership by women, are women’s voices represented in the media, what are the lessons learnt over the last 20 years, what can Africa do going forward? The GMDC will be convening seminars to discuss the mainstreaming of gender in media freedom issues. Read more…
Upcoming Events

Media Centres of Excellence, 18-20 May 2011, Johannesburg, South Africa
Gender Links will be conducting a planning workshop for gender policy facilitators from the 18-20th of May 2011. The purpose of this workshop is to re-conceptualise the media policy work as part of a long term vision to establish Media Centres of Excellence (COEs) in gender mainstreaming. The COE process will ensure that GL makes meaningful interventions in the media in the next three years. Among other things, the workshop will identify newsrooms; agree on the different interventions and the monitoring and evaluation tools to assess the impact of the different initiatives. GL will work with 100 newsrooms in the SADC region with the aim of ensuring that they have at least 30% women sources in news content by 2014.

GMDC Advisory Group Meeting and GIME Centres of Excellence, 19-20 May 2011, Johannesburg, South Africa
It is time for the 8th GMDC Advisory Group meeting! This meeting discusses the work of the GMDC, how to strengthen partnerships, how to increase the GMDC’s visibility and recommends some tasks to be considered in the annual work plan of the centre. We continue to take the findings of the Gender in Media Education (GIME) audit forward. This meeting will discuss and agree on a strategy of how to establish GIME Centres of Excellence which are basically gender in media education champions. Champions will be awarded at the Gender and Media Summits. A full report on this meeting will be in our next edition.

Putting gender on the Windhoek Declaration agenda seminar, 19 May 2011, Gender Links Offices, Johannesburg, South Africa

Gender Links and National University of Lesotho, 29 May 2011, Media Literacy Graduation and Seminar, Maseru, Lesotho

Gender Links and Malawi Institute for Journalism, 3 June 2011, Media Literacy Graduation, Signing of MOU and Seminar, Blantyre, Malawi

GMDC Databases
NP (and PAC) candidate Hufkie gets ready to take herself on at the polls – Cape Times
Aspring councillor Bonita Elvira Hufkie is to stand against herself in a Cape Town ward during the upcoming municipal elections. Hufkie appears as the ward 48 candidate for the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) as well as the National Party of South Africa. Ward 48 covers Belgravia, Belgravia Estate, Crawford, Penlyn Estate and Rylands. Read more…
Woman elopes with boyfriend, abandons mentally ill daughter
Maseru – Police have arrested a 40-year-old Lithoteng woman who allegedly eloped with a boyfriend, leaving her 12-year-old mentally ill daughter to suffer sexual abuse at the hands of a relative Read more…
65-Year-old woman escapes after head-butting rapist
Maseru – A 65-year-old woman has her head-butting skills to down hank for fending off a rape attempt by a man old enough to be her son.’Makemelo Mokiba of Qeme Ha- Mpo knocked a 26-year-old Moorosi Mpitso on the night of March 28 with a powerful head-butt, forcing him to flee. Read more…
Feminist Africa 14: Rethinking gender and violence
The latest issue of Feminist Africa, a publication of the University of Cape Town’s Africa Gender Institute, is now available in full text online. This issue of Feminist Africa seeks to take stock, as it were, of some contemporary thinking on gender and violence. The four feature articles tackle both “old† and “newer† questions.It features a range of articles based in different contexts, from Morroco to Kenya, Namibia and South Africa. In her editorial, Jane Bennett states that the feature articles are intended, as a small group, to suggest that while there may be areas of overlap among writers and activists who take gender and violence seriously, there are myriad points of divergence and plenty of marginalised arguments, seeking entrance. Despite the thematic gaps, however, this issue draws together voices not exactly in harmony, but certainly in mutual commitment to writing which pulls no discursive punches in terms of its conviction that the relationship between gender and violence is far from fully understood, and even further from a logic in whose terms that same relationship can be erased. Read more…
Attitudes toward lesbians and gay men: relations with gender, race and religion among university students
This study posits that although the South African government has shown an unprecedented commitment to acknowledging and upholding the human rights of lesbians and gay men, negative attitudes exist towards lesbians and gay men in university communities. A survey of 880 heterosexual students (356 men and 524 women) in a university community was conducted using the Attitudes Towards Lesbian and Gay Male Scale (ATLG). The results indicate that heterosexual students at a university in Gauteng have negative attitudes towards lesbians and gay men, that gender and religiosity has an influence on attitudes towards lesbians and gay men, and that no differences exist between race groups concerning attitudes towards lesbians and gay men. The results are discussed against the background of previous studies, and suggestions for future research are made. Read more…
Gender in education: An overview of developing trends in Africa
The last decades of the twentieth century saw many concerted efforts in research into gender issues all over the world. In Africa, international bodies and educationalists began looking into the way girls and women were faring in education in the 1960s. Their findings were depressing. By the 1970s, some African governments were putting in place pro-female initiative to encourage the enrolment of girls. Consequently, low enrolment figures indicated in the earlier years (1960-70) had improved by the 1990s. Read more…
Case Studies
What does it mean to be a ‘woman on top’?
Top Women in Business and Government (TWBG) is a magazine that promotes women who have made it in the top management positions across different fields. It is about women who are challenging assumptions and pre-conceived notions as they dominate the public sphere. Women from sectors such as banking, renewable energy, media and engineering are show-cased in a way that breaks stereotypes about women’s capabilities. It is interesting that the ten contributors to the magazine are also all women. Read more…
War on blatant forms of gender stereotypes far from being won
While women are more likely to feature in advertising than in news content, they are also more likely to be seen than heard. They are often portrayed in ways that perpetuate blatant and more subtle forms of gender stereotypes. The advert in question is a car advert published in the Sowetan (South Africa) newspaper of 11 March 2011. It perpetuates blatant stereotypes as it portrays women as sex objects. A woman in the form of a mermaid is used to sell a car. Although the advertisement is about a car, a woman is the main focus of the advert. The woman is shown as a mermaid, a mythological aquatic creature with a female human head and torso and the tail of a fish. Read more…
Sexual assault of female journalists reporting from conflict zones
Which beats are assigned to male and female journalists is an indicator of how newsrooms view the roles of women and men in society. According to Glass Ceilings: Women and men in Southern Africa media research, women constitute 35% whilst men constitute 65% of the journalists who cover disaster/war/conflict beats. The assault of Lara Logan as she was covering the ousting of Mubarak in Egypt is thus an issue of concern for the media landscape and how far it respects the rights of female journalists. Three articles published in three different newspapers are analysed. Read more…
Ending sex and race discrimination in the workplace: Legal intervention that pushes the envelope
This report examines the changes to employment policies and practices mandated as part of sex and race employment discrimination litigation. The report is based on the analysis of more than 500 consent decrees (court supervised pre-trial settlements) that were negotiated by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) or private law firms, and in-depth study of the negotiation and implementation of four sex discrimination consent decrees. Read more…
Giant Footprints: GL @ TEN
In ten years Gender Links has grown into an internationally recognised player in gender rights and the advancement of women. It has grown from the humble beginnings of a small office at the back of Colleen Lowe Morna’s house, with one employee and one computer, to its own office space and 50 employees; regional offices in Botswana, Mauritius, Mozambique, Madagascar, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Zambia. The growth alone is a big story and a lesson in how to develop an organisation. Read more…
The Southern Africa Media and Diversity Journal, Issue 9
When results of the 2010 Gender and Media Progress Study (GMPS) were first released, many Southern African gender and media activists expressed frustration at the slow rate of progress in the region. Coming seven years after the original Gender and Media Baseline Study (GMBS), one figure that was of particular concern was the marginal increase of women’s sources from 17% to 19% in the region’s news. Read more…
Internships Members
Investing in the future: The GL internship programme
Little did GL know back in 2004 – when it hosted its first intern – that seven years later, in 2011, the internship programme would be one of its flagship projects. Today, GL sums up the internship project as one in which it is making efforts to “invest in the future”. But what is “investing in the future” about? Read more…
Malawi Institute of Journalism
The Malawi Institute of Journalism will soon join the GMDC partner hall of fame. They will be signing the MOU in Blantyre, Malawi on 3 June 2011. Congratulations to MIJ for diligently working on the MOU. Read more…
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