Lusaka, 6 March 2018:
To commemorate International Women’s Day on 8th March 2018, under the theme #PressForProgress, Panos Institute Southern Africa (PSAf) reiterates that the challenges that stand in the way of women are still too many, and there is need for urgent, coordinated action to address them.
PSAf has observed that most of the obstacles hindering progress for women are rooted in social stereotypes, are weaved into the social fabric and have become part of the daily social reality. These are perpetuated daily through mainstream and social media which appear to wrongly endorse gender inequality as an acceptable norm. Through its media monitoring of the coverage of women in the media, PSAf has observed that the media marginalises women’s voices – both as subjects and authorities on certain issues.
PSAf encourages the media to also step into the fray, amplify the voices of women, highlight and challenge the mindsets and attitudes that make it difficult for women to get into decision making. We are concerned by the lack of parity between men and women in influential decision-making positions. The women who have risen to powerful positions have had to fight their way through, go through many challenges which their male counterparts do not have to go through. Such a situation remains unacceptable in the 21st century, and it is the sad reality we that we must all work together to address. The media has great power to inform, educate and stimulate positive action that can help address gender inequality. PSAf is of the view that through in-depth, focused and issue-based coverage, the media can highlight the stereotypes and negative attitudes that perpetuate gender inequality, and provide a platform through which society can challenge the status quo.
Lilian Saka Kiefer
Executive Director, Panos Institute Southern Africa (PSAf)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +260978778148/9