Source: Gender Links
"The media must be greatly engaged and involved in promotion of gender equality," said Mulupe Majara, Informative Newspaper journalist, who was the first winner in the media category of the ‘50/50 by 2015 and a strong post 2015 agenda!' summit in Maseru, Lesotho.
This view was supported by many candidates who attended day two of the summit. The general suggestion was that various media houses should work through many strategies to make sure that every person is sensitised about gender equality. With this action, the hope is to achieve gender equality by 2015, which was the one of the key themes of the summit.
Lerato Matheka from Khanya Holdings said that they have established an educational programme and the project is already running on the national television, Lesotho Television, with the aim of empowering women and girls about issues of gender equality and avoiding all gender based abuses. The programme, she said, is called Edu-Reloaded.
She noted that they are also trying to encourage girls achieving low marks in mathematics and science in high schools to have confidence in these subjects and that they are not a preserve for boys or males. She asserted that the programme assures girls that we are all naturally gifted and intelligent in anything that males are gifted and intelligent in.
"If a girl is not going well in mathematics and science, there could be a number of reasons for that - that is certainly just because they are girls and therefore are not good in these subjects." She quipped that the reverse could just be the case, where a boy is not performing well in these subjects, and that may not be simply because the boy is not intelligent in them.
"With the introduction of this programme we hope to have more girls studying mathematics and science. We really hope to positively change their examination results, particularly at exit level of grades. Most female students feel that mathematics and science are only meant for males or should be dominated by male students whereas - they still can do extremely well in them", she reiterated the point said.
Matheka also stated that both genders are equal in the aspect of these two subjects and engage in them without fear. She continued by making people aware that education is for all no matter who you are and where you come from. She further highlighted that the media are necessary tools with the capacity to help change attitudes of women towards these subjects.
She lastly stated that they are targeting girls from the ages of thirteen up to those who are about to graduate from high school.
She further indicated that the media are important for changing the behavior and attitudes of people hence their aim of empowering women through television and are planning to explore other cheap and widely accessible media, such as newspapers.
Apart from that, she indicated that television production is still a male dominant field, but they have women being trained and already in practice. "This imbalance must be changed with the support of the whole media fraternity, including our male colleagues who are progressive and change males who still hold conservative views about women generally, said Matheka strongly.
Giving her presentations ‘Mantsali Phakoana, Informative Newspaper reporter, which falls under Bam Media, revealed that they always make sure that women are also given a chance to showcase their abilities.
She added that through their pieces of writing they try to balance gender equality, adding that that they are also trying as much as possible to put female views in the newspaper and to cover stories that do not put women in compromising situations.
"Our media house is fully owned by three women", she added. This is a clear illustration that women are capable of being leaders in many things, including technologically based workplaces, just like men.
In addition to the above details there are certain programmes either on television or radio where one will realize that certain content is aimed for the uplifting women and giving them courage in our societies and the given message more often produce fruitful results.
Participation of media in building and strengthening confidence in women is extremely excellent in terms of dissolving the stereotypes in people. Media practitioners at times invite women who specialize in work that mostly dominated by men to share their views about what they do or how they succeeded. Then again we find that there are men who do work like catering which is also said to be women's work, adverts on television nowadays show men cooking and this is a good example of which assist in breaking the stereotype in our people.
Molupe Majara, the winner in the media category, wrapped his female colleagues' views by passionately appealing to all local and regional media houses to note that they are a necessary and very important tools in women empowerment, "this under the clearly and humanly defined sphere of gender equality."