Women still ‘invisible’ in SA media: Study

CEO at Gender Links, Colleen Lowe Morna
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Non-governmental organisation Gender Links has released a study showing that women are still not being seen and heard as much as men in the South African media.

The organisation wants more diversity, balance, and sensitivity in the coverage of women on local television.

On Tuesday evening, the organisation released results of a study showing that there’s no gender parity in the media fraternity.

The study looked of how women are portrayed in news, entertainment and children’s programmes.

CEO at Gender Links, Colleen Lowe Morna says, “Overall in the news, women constituted just 39% of those who were seen and heard. Interestingly that is an increase on a study we did in 2015 when the figure was 25%. Globally 39% is not such a bad figure, the global figure is somewhere around 20-25%. Children’s programming was also very interesting in that it actually had a predominance of female characters in that; however, when it came to voice-overs just 40% were women and 60% were men.”

Meanwhile, the SABC has been challenged to introspect about the kind of public broadcaster it wants to be.

Producer, former actress and CEO of Carol Bouwer Productions, Carol Bouwer says the types of programmes on SABC should be about nation building and not just focus on the commercial side of the company.

Bouwer says the SABC should do more to highlight issues such as gender-based violence

“I left Generations in 1999 and I’ve never watched a soapie since and it was a conscious decision. By the time I left Generations, I’d probably kissed 7 men on that show. I was very uncomfortable. I had found ways to kiss around the mouth and I just thought I cannot wake up every morning and think of how to kiss in a manner that I’m not kissing. This is not part of a society that I want to be a part of.”

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