Women are the missing voices in radio talk shows – as hosts, guests and callers. Although women would like to discuss more social topics, including gender equality, these are generally missing in the programme line ups. To the extent that gender issues are raised in chat shows, they often reinforce stereotypes about the role of women and men in society and these go unchallenged by the predominantly male hosts of the shows.

These are among the key findings of a survey of eleven radio talk shows in four Southern African countries (Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe) conducted by Gender Links in partnership with country chapters of the Gender and Media Southern Africa (GEMSA) Network from June-July 2005.

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