Stop blaming women for every crisis (This appeared as a Letter to the Editor), Mmegi/ The Reporter

Date: January 1, 1970
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The writer complains that a television programme had a discussion about the responsibility of women for spread of HIV and AIDS because they wear revealing clothes. The writer challenges the notion that women are to blame for the spread of HIV and AIDS.

This letter can be used to:
1. Demonstrate how responding to media can provid an opportunity for voices and perspectivesthat challenge gender stereotypes.
2. Raise discussion about media and gender stereotypes
Trainer’s Notes: As the writer of the letter points out, it was wrong of the television station, BTV, to air only the arguments which perpetuate gender stereotypes, without also airing the views that challenge these stereotypes. Broadcasting such views may increase a tendency to unfairly blame women for the spread of HIV and AIDS and will not assist efforts to reduce the spread of HIV infection.
Discussion Questions
1. The article can be used to stimulate a discussion on stereotypes, particularly those related to women’s sexuality, as the article deals how women are blamed for the spread of HIV and for rape based on what they wear and what they do.
2. How can individuals challenge gender stereotypes?
3. Does media have a responsibility to avoid gender stereotypes?
Training Exercises
1. Trainees can be asked to make a list of the stereotypes that appear from the article and then discuss what messages these stereotypes convey.
2. Go through the local newspapers, clip articles that perpetuate gender stereotypes and those that don’t, compare the two.
3. Conduct a survey on if people think that the way a women dress is contributing to HIV. Also conduct research into the gendered aspects of HIV. Write an opinion article on this.
Listen to the "I Stories" below, make a list of excuses that people make for
Links to Training Resources:
Gender and HIV/AIDS: A Training Manual for Southern African Media and Communicators, Gender Links and the AIDS Law Project, Chapter 4, 


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