Thenjiwe Mtintso

Thenjiwe Mtintso

Date: March 24, 2011
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When Colleen and I worked together at the Commission on Gender Equality we talked about gender in the media. She came up with this idea of trying to transform the ideas of gender in the media. The rest is herstory- as you know once Colleen has an idea she runs with it and doesn’t let it go. She came up with some sort of a concept paper. I coined the phrase ‘meeting the lion in its den.’ We saw the media not as a passive transmitter of ideas but as an active agent of change. As we explored this further, we found that we could do two things simultaneously. We needed to change gender relations in the male-dominated media; but we also needed to use the media to transform gender relations – so it could itself be our agent of change.

This was a radical idea. The question was who watches the watch dogs? They had never really been challenged on the question on their attitudes to women and gender relations. When we looked into it, we found this was a strong area that needed to be worked on. We were not only talking numbers- of women in media as well as numbers of editors- we were talking attitudes too.

Gender Links was born after Colleen did a lot of work and put together a focus group. I must say that from the time that we launched GL I had a feeling that we were headed for rocky ground. I was frightened because I thought the idea was going to be attacked, whether by feminists from the left or your conservatives from the right. Funding at that time was getting very difficult for NGOs and we were a non-entity, no one knew us, not even Colleen really. Colleen’s passion and resilience is what got Gender Links off its feet. As the saying goes- when one door closes, another door opens.

Thenjiwe Mtintso is a GL Board Member.

One thought on “Thenjiwe Mtintso”

Lídia Joao Sitoe Mucavele Furvela says:

I am Lídia Furvela, Master Student in History of Mozambique and Southern Africa at University of Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo. At the moment I am writing a dissertation titled ” A participation of Women in Parliament: Cases of Mozambique and South Africa from 1994 to 2014. I am interested in non published Master degree Thenjiwe Mtintso Paper at the University of Witwatersrand. I have no funs to travel to South Africa, and would like to request if you could accept an interview online (in my email address). I will also be gratefully if you could contact other six women members of South Africa Parliament to answer my interview. I look forward to hearing from you and thank in advance.

Lídia Joao Sitoe Mucavele Furvela, 54 years old. researcher at Mozambique Historical Archievs

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