Dr. Rose Mensah-Kutin - Director of ABANTU
A day’s training workshop on promoting gender equality and equity in the country for some selected media practioners has been held in Accra.
Themed “Influencing Gender Responsive National Media Policies”, it sought to analyse and exchange ideas on the demands of section 7 of the Women’s Manifesto for Ghana as best practices that could be initiated to enhance the presentation of gender issues in the media, especially during the impending elections.
The Section seven (7) of the manifestoes talks about the role the media can play in the fight for a just and equitable society.
It was organised by ABANTU for Development in collaboration with the Women’s Manifesto and STAR-Ghana.
The Programmes Co-ordinator for, ABANTU Mrs Ellen Dzah in her remark said although women continued to be marginalised, they contribute significantly to the development of the country.
She said Ghanaian women have witnessed lack of concrete actions to implement fully gender equality, a situation which continued to hinder their and progression in public life.
Mrs Dzah said some media houses portrayed women as sex objects which had consequences for their acceptance as equals in national processes such as in elections.
She said for good governance there was the need for women to have adequate information to make better and informed life choices.
Mrs Dzah called on the media to propagate the cause of women representation in policy-making to give them a bigger voice in national matters in the country to help in decision making process.
“The media can help in advocating for gender equality and equity by giving out air time and other spaces in their papers “she added
That she said, would help enhance the knowledge and skills of media personnel on issues relating to women and the media in the country.
In a presentation on “Influencing Gender Responsive Media Policies Reforms” Mrs Faustina Boakye, a gender activist said although there had been vast technological advancement in the country, it had not been used effectively to promote a just and equitable society.
The media, she said, was not portraying women’s right issues in a fair and balanced manner, especially in advertising among others.
“The media’s sexists and stereotypical representation of women is a serious issues which has to be addressed “she added
Mrs Boakye suggested that government formulate and adopt a comprehensive communication and information policy that would address issues of denigrating media representation and content, and clarifying issues relating to access, control and information flow.
She said government through parliament, should pass into law a gender-responsive freedom of information bill to enhance access to information and ultimately benefit women and the marginalised in society by 2012.