Gender equality requires action: Sioka

19 Aug 2016 11:10am
WINDHOEK, 19 AUG (NAMPA) – Gender equality in the media can only be achieved through action, most importantly from media leadership and newsroom policies, Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Doreen Sioka has said.
Sioka was speaking during the launch of the Southern Africa Gender and Media Progress Study of 2015 and the Gender Protocol Barometer, on Thursday during the Women in Media leadership summit.
The summit was preceded by two days of training in media management and leadership hosted by the Southern African Broadcasting Association and southern African non-governmental organisation Gender Links, which started on Monday.
The Media Progress Study of 2015 brings together previous studies on women and men in the media, content within the media, and media studies.
It shows that young women predominate in media training, but face a glass ceiling within the media, as they enter but do not stay or get promoted in the media.
The study also shows that where there is a high proportion of women in the media, this does not result in 'gender aware' content.
Sioka therefore noted that the context in which journalists produce news is vitally important.
She said it is a sad reality that the media “has left half of the world’s population behind, and is failing to give women a voice, choice and control” as stipulated in the Namibian Constitution.
Sioka expressed satisfaction with media provisions within the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which go well beyond the provisions of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), although these goals are silent on media and communications.
She indicated that the post-2015 SADC Gender Protocol strengthens language on policies and laws, and adds gender parity in media ownership as one of the targets for the future.
“We are not lacking in good instruments, policies and laws. Where we fall short is implementation,” Sioka said.
The minister called on media practitioners to accelerate the implementation of all media related objectives, especially the news on women and their achievements.
She specifically urged the media to report on both the high rate of gender-based violence in the region and success stories of programmes and best practices in the region from which SADC countries can learn from one another.