WOMEN IN JOURNALISM DIFFICULTIES

By Lynda Ekoue - Board Director 

The newspaper, which used to be a vehicle of political ideas, especially for the service of a particular class, has now become the necessary thing of all categories. The intellectuals, the workmen, the barely-opened eyes employees rush over to their newspapers at the same time as on their coffee. UNESCO figures for 83 countries show that in the majority of them – 53 - women make up at least half of the list of journalism and communication schools. It follows then that the role of journalism is becoming increasingly important and is becoming more difficult every day. During the last fifteen years, the number of high-level students in these fields has steadily increased.

However, women remain the minority in the communication professions. Experiments have shown that not all women who have received training will necessarily seek or find employment afterwards in the chosen areas of studies.

Moreover, in the absence of a well-developed radio and television network as is often the case in some African and Asian countries; or because of the limited access of the population to these media, which necessarily limits,  as a result, these means of information as a brake or potential instruments for improving the conditions of women have attracted little interest in the least developed countries. Men find it easier than women to access media jobs in ways other than diplomas and training. Media still portrays women negatively. While research on how to describe women in all types of television programs has been conducted in some countries, the results are far from being visible.

For example, there is still too much flesh displayed; in a country like Albania, on some channels,  young women present the news, inappropriately dressed. When questioned, the owner of the channel explained to have done this to boost his audience, and he defends his new reads in the name of transparency and truth. It is worth noting that this country has three million inhabitants and is a majority Muslim, traditionalist. In Western countries, also, there is still too much serotyping of women on media.

 

In Africa, the role that the media can play in improving the status of women in the development of African nations remains unexplored. Women journalists and professionals of communication in a country like Ivory Coast, concerned about behaviours in their regard, in their profession, created a network with the support of UN Women to breathe new life into the fight.  For this purpose, to better coordinate actions to be efficient on the ground, a workshop of strategic planning of their activities was initiated.

During this workshop, women journalists promoted through their writings — a positive image of women to fight against stereotypes. The Ministry of Women and Solidarity says it expects a lot from this article. Nothing can be done today effectively in the field of the advancement of women without communication. Moreover, only trained and competent female journalists can deliver excellent discussion on the role of women in society. This can be done effectively by Professional women of the media themselves. This network of women journalists was created to guarantee the rights of women to be informed and heard. Women's access to journalism is one of the conquests of which feminism is justly proud and whose merit cannot be denied. Journalism through the media are pushing women towards a career in the communication industry and journalism but also drives by the force of the media women to leave their homes, to see, to listen, to observe, to understand and to judge outside the restricted circle of their family, its relations or class or customs.

Although the stereotypical image of the role of the sexes is nowhere more uniform and pervasive than in advertising, and the latter is often criticised for being biased in favour of men. Studies of women's employment practices in this sector are surprisingly rare.

The duty of women journalists is to learn to teach and communicate in turn the true, the great role of so many women and in all branches of human activity namely: art, science, government..... The role that history has been voluntarily left in the shadows or ditches. 

There is no doubt that in many cases, there is discrimination against women, and the marked imbalance between the two sexes in the schools of journalism and communication certainly influences the future orientation of women and men. In Journalism and Else, women must have equal chances of success and be treated fairly and without discrimination, during their training and throughout their career.

© Worldwide Women Forum, designed by Florine Clomegah - Freitas, and managed by Management Integral Ltd.

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