The media is an example in GL’s ToC of a critical area of the “public realm of power” that can either be part of the problem – reinforcing gender stereotypes – or part of the solution – helping to challenge them.
The 2010 Gender and Media Progress Study (GMPS) showed that women constituted 19% of news sources in the Southern African media. Women are also often portrayed in a limited range of roles, and treated as objects for the pleasure of men in advertising and popular culture.
GL has adopted several strategies in
its gender and media work to change
this “vicious negative cycle” of
gender blindness and blatant stereotypes into a “virtuous positive cycle” of gender aware reporting that gives equal time and space to the views and voices of all categories of
women and men; challenges gender
stereotypes, and promotes agenda setting gender debates. These range from working with media policy bodies and training institutions to working directly with media houses that have elected to become
Centres of Excellence for Gender in the Media. Another key strategy, and one of the most effective forms of pressure, is to work with media consumers to discover their innate strength in relation to the often assumed all‐powerful media.