• Type: KPMG information
  • Date: 12/18/2013

Gender aware leadership score card applied to 300 local councils in ten countries  

In South Africa, the media profiled a wide range of women from the ruling party and opposition, and provoked several gender‐related debates, including the suitability of a polygamous president for office in a country espousing gender equality. The public debates hosted by GL in partnership with the media resulted in a gender aware leadership score card now used to enhance gender responsive governance in 300 local councils in ten countries across the Southern Africa Development Community.
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Women’s absence from decisionmaking is one of the most visible forms of gender inequality. The absence of women’s views and voices from the media is a powerful indicator of women’s exclusion from public participation. Politics is the most public of all spaces, and conversely one of the most hostile of spaces for women to break into. The media reinforces this exclusion. Women’s political participation is one of the most problematic areas of media reporting. The views of women as candidates, voters and party functionaries form a tiny percentage of election coverage. Women candidates pose a “challenge” to the media used to portraying women in “soft” roles. Research around the globe has shown the tendency by the media to caricature women politicians as “iron women” or honorary men. Women politicians are much more likely to be referenced according to their personal relations, and judged by criteria that have little bearing to their public functions. Women politicians site the media as one of the major impediments to their advancement. The tension between women politicians and the media is also due, to a certain extent, to the fact that women have not had the same level of exposure as men and are often reluctant or wary in their dealings with the media.