Call for Media Stories: Gender and COVID19

IntroductionSynopsis  |  PitchFull storyCOVID Help Desk  |  Examples  |  Editorial guidelines  |  Photo guidelines


The impact of COVID-19 is being felt on all corners of the globe. The media has been a key part in the fight against corona virus giving us real-time information on a public health issue that connects us all on a core human level.

Right now, every news platform is focusing on the corona virus from the stories on the ever increasing infection rates and numbers of deaths, healthcare workers on the frontlines, to analysis of the real human and economic cost of the pandemic. In a crisis like this gender sensitive reporting is a priority. An article by International Media Support titled Media, remember gender in your COVID-19 notes that “It is important that media provide a broader picture and not only look at the statistics of the infection and its death rates. Without an inclusive gender perspective in the policy responses to COVID-19, we risk that women and marginalised groups are left out, stereotyped and overheard in decision-making processes.” It is therefore important to look at the coverage of the COVID 19 pandemic through a gender lens.


Gender Links is calling for media stories that will show the gendered dimension of the corona virus in Southern Africa. GL is looking for stories that focus on gender and the corona virus and its impact in the following areas:


Phase One: Pitching your story idea

  • Please pitch your story idea capturing the essence of your proposed story by filling this form
  • Submit your pitch by Friday 12 June
  • Your pitch should answer the five W’s and H – Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How?
  • Your pitch should indicate whether it is print/online, television or a radio story
  • Your pitch should indicate the theme your story will focus on as per the themes above.
  • This pitch will be received by the editor for review on a rolling basis.
  • For those accepted  you will receive a response for your pitch, with an explanation and or suggestions. This will include the deadline for submitting your story.
  • If accepted you should then compile the story

Phase Two: Submitting your full article

  • Compile and submit your story within the given timeframe.
  • Submit your article on the full submission form which can be found here
  • Your articles should be at least 1000 words -1800 words.
  • Upload your full story, a captioned high resolution photo, and for broadcast stories upload the radio and video clips and an accompanying picture. Your photo should be in landscape layout.
  • Please also tick the editorial sign off section in the full story submission form.  Click here to review GL editorial guidelines.
  • Click here to view photo guidelines.
  • All stories will be published in June and July 2020
  • Once the story has been received for publication and published GL will effect payment and indicate that this has been done. Click here to view the bank details that will be required and please have these ready.
  • Journalists will receive a $100 honorarium for stories published.

Criteria for gender sensitive SRHR reporting

  • Gender balance of sources: For the media to produce coverage that is complete and diverse, it is critical that the news reflects the world as seen through the eyes of women as well as men and other genders.
  • Agents of change: Journalists can help to change attitudes by portraying women as they really are rather than re-enforcing gender-based stereotypes.
  • Gender balance is good journalism: Professionalism journalism demand that all voices and perspectives are covered.
  • Language is value ridden: Language is key, do not use male descriptors to describe all people. Describe the differential impact on all the relevant groups.
  • Data disaggregation: Breakdown data so that there is a perspective on how the issue affects everyone not just one homogenous group.
  • Fairness: Ensure that all views are included and treated with equal weight.
  • Challenge stereotypes: Focus on women’s views not their appearance or their perceived gender roles such as being wives and mothers.
  • Accountability: Hold stakeholders accountable for their actions or lack of action.
  • Research: Thoroughly research your subject, ensure accuracy and clarity. Sift out what is fact and opinion.


GL has set up a help desk with key resources on gender and COVID -19 for your use. You can find it here


Theme Description
Increased risk for women and children during COVID 19A The article describes increased vulnerability that women and children face as they stay at home due to COVID 19
Periods Don’t Stop for Pandemics The article focuses on menstrual health
Why Covid-19 will hit women harder The economic impact of the COVID 19 virus on women
Safeguarding Women’s rights during COVID 19 The article is an Opinion editorial pieces giving commentary on impact of COVID on different aspects including carfe work, HIV and AIDS, domestic work and women’s health