Who calls the shots? Media and gender justice in Africa

  on January 21, 2014

The objectives of WACC-AR’s presentation “Who call the shots: media and gender justice in Africa in the context of HIV and AIDS” were three-fold: To increase the awareness of women church leaders on the power and role of news media in society; to sensitize participants on the shortcomings and limitations of the media with regard to gender; and, to help participants explore approaches to increase the representation and coverage of women by the news media.

CUAHA conference 
Participants at the conference. Source: Cathey Ouma/WACC (cc) 

The presentation noted that in Africa only19% of the voices heard or read about in the news media represent women compared to the global rate of 24%. The research had however found a relatively higher tendency for gender-aware stories on HIV and AIDS in contrast to stories on other Millennium Development Goals of poverty, education, environment and building global partnerships.

The presentation challenged women church leaders to be vigilant of the news media in their respective countries, including the church news media, with a view to increasing voices of women through both church and secular media. The participants took away with them copies of the GMMP report for use in their advocacy work for more gender-fair media.

Sixty women and 5 men, from fifteen countries representing the CUAHA constituency in Eastern and Southern Africa attended the conference. News media in 10 of the countries present were monitored in the GMMP 2010 research.

CUAHA is an ecumenical network of churches and Christian organisations uniting churches and creating a shared commitment to HIV and AIDS issues. The Ambassadors of Hope is an advocacy program of CUAHA which aims at communicating a positive, life-affirming message through HIV and AIDS infected and affected role models in different countries of East and Southern Africa.

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January 21, 2014
Categories:  Media&Gender Monitor

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Beijing +20: In my opinion...

The most important contribution that the Beijing Platform for Action has made to advancing gender equality in and through the media is:

Setting global standards to which governments and the media can be held accountable
Bringing coherence to and greater understanding of civil society initiatives on gender, women and media
Raising the profile of work on 'women and media' as important for addressing gender inequalities in women's lived experiences.

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