Women deserve better, political parties agree – Windhoek Observer

Date: April 13, 2011
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Description: The article is a feature on the role of women in politics and the space that is open to women in Namibia. The article provides brief inputs from political parties about their policy positions on gender equality.

The introduction summarises issues that impact on women as citizens. The article focuses on gender equality and the heading and content zoom in on this. The spotlight is on political party manifestos and party views on gender equality. The article ties the parties’ manifesto to the elections.

All participating political parties put forward their views. While readers have information on political parties’ perspective on equity, the article fails to critically assess their promises and/or review gender equity policies and implementation in the country. In this way it falls short of measuring the strengths and weaknesses in policy implementation and instead the article ends up providing a platform for party propaganda. It holds no party or government to account.

Women’s voices and those of gender-specific or other non-governmental organisations do not feature. A holistic analysis of gender equity is also missing.

The article could have been strong but reverts to being a spin piece for parties, with some giving it more space than others.   It was a missed opportunity to tackle gender equality head-on.

On the positive side the gender-dimensions of multiple issues are brought to the fore from the onset and the article clearly aims to raise the bar and mainstream gender issues.

“Women deserve better, political parties agreeÀ: This headline is a statement on the status of women. It is up front and bold. The headline is clear that the focus of the article is not only on gender equality but its status in the country and it points to what is required and expected. It also indicates consensus amongst those in power or those wanting power.

The views of political parties and secondary sources in the form of policy statements and party policies drive the content of this article. The sources used provide a picture of the vision political parties pursue around gender parity. The views of gender advocacy groups would have added to the content and allowed readers to measure gender policies against implementation.

The language is fair and authoritative. The language used aims to inform and educate. The language persuades readers to better understand gender issues.

Visual images
The story is accompanied with several images used to frame the copy. The flags of the political parties are placed on one side of the copy. A picture showing the faces of four women with the sky in the background is accompanied with a slogan stating: “Empowering women and girls empower us all.À The feature is tagged:   “2009 Election focus.À These visuals clearly indicate that gender is the subject that is placed on the table and the link to election coverage is clear.

Story angle and perspective
The story angle pursued clearly indicates gender is a key feature of the political landscape and election coverage includes reporting on gender. Political parties are targeted in this story in a bid to gain their perspectives as well as input on their policies. The comments and information from each party is placed clearly so that readers are able to digest the information easily.

The article strongly encourages gender parity as a goal. It highlights the responsibilities of political parties in ensuring gender equality is attained. The article allows readers to gain an understanding of the views of political parties as well as provides input on the multiple interpretations of the concept.

The article aims to educate and inform readers about gender issues. It allows readers a tool to track political parties and their promises, or lack thereof, regarding gender. The article aims to ensure that gender does not fall off the radar.

Placement or positioning
The story appears on page 14 and is afforded prominence. It appears in the electio

Download : 12159_ga_equality_namibia_windhoek.pdf

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