Source: Afrique en Ligne
Dakar, Senegal - African female media practitioners and those in the civil society here Thursday called on governments in the continent to enforce the texts, conventions and protocols they signed on the protection of women's rights. Such rights protection treaty included the African Charter of Human and Peoples' Rights on the rights of women. It was adopted in 2003 during the African Union (AU) Summit in Maputo, Mozambique, to promote and respect women's fundamental rights.
The associations, from the Gambia and Senegal, are holding a panel discussion on 'Gender and the Media: what approaches for more visibility of the actions conducted by women in the media'.
Organized by the Inter-African Network for Women, the Media, Gender and Development (FAMEDEV), the meeting was aimed at identifying major constraints to women's access to decision-making positions and the improvement of the image of women in the media.
It is a follow-up to the global monitoring project of the media, carried out by FAMEDEV in November 2009, in 108 countries worldwide, under the coordination of the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC), based in Toronto, Canada.
Its results were presented in September 2010, where women realized that 'much remained to be done for an effective integration of gender dimension in the media.'
The study showed that women were still significantly under-represented and poorly represented in news media coverages.
News media show gender bias, as 46 per cent of reports reinforce gender stereotypes and only 13 per cent of reports focus primarily on women.
'Many texts have been signed or ratified but their enforcement by our governments remains to be done,' lamented Penada Seck Diouf, a Senegalese consultant and specialist in gender.
Diouf urged women to claim their rights, break taboos and show a good image, especially in the media.