Friday, January 24, 2014

DR Congo: " The make-up hides the bruises and the tears so they never show ".

Chantal Faida  at Radio Netherlands worldwide reports:

Congolese media makes women invisible





This is at least the position of the Congolese Union of Women Media ( UCOFEM ), which relies on its own figures. "The media can help to reinforce inequalities, disseminating gender stereotypes, as they can help to eradicate them by promoting less anarchic and more multidimensional female models in accordance with the reality of women in the twenty-first century," says Evelyne Luyelo Coordinator the UCOFEM.

I would expect a lot more women in the DR Congo to enter the media but the issue will not go away when that happens if the western model is followed. The glass ceiling is very much a fact of life in western media. 

" The facts and figures speak for themselves. The Daily Star is the only national daily newspaper in the UK edited by a woman, Dawn Neesom, in 2013. Women are still noticeably in the minority in the top journalistic roles, despite making up the majority of journalism students."

Gender stereotypes
The organization released late September 2013 simultaneously in Kinshasa and Goma a thorough and rich in information report entitled " The image of women in the media in the DRC " . The purpose of the paper is to contribute to the eradication of gender stereotypes, to promote gender relations based on equality and mutual respect. The UCOFEM want to restore the gender balance in reference sources and information to enhance the talent of women, and finally, she wishes that a gender perspective is adopted in the Congolese media circles.

In the eastern DR Congo the " issue of stereotypes " is it would seem almost a licence to rape murder women for no other reason than it is crime that can be committed with impunity.

Engaged in the promotion of gender equality in and through the media, UCOFEM wants to see women and men participate equitably in the management of public and private life. For the effectiveness of its action, it gave many media organizations, in addition to the full report, a guide to illustrate the correct actions (to do) and incorrect (to avoid) in the information processing point of view of gender equality.

I would have thought it was fairly self explanatory if they need a report then it probably isn't going to happen.

"Not enough efforts to impose their skills"
While welcoming the initiative very encouraging and the unprecedented UCOFEM Justin Luba, a manager of a community radio Goma, is that "women journalists do not provide enough efforts to impose their skills in editorial meetings, and more rarely they are considering proposing topics on issues that affect them directly. "

A brave man Justine Luba. I sure as hell wouldn't dare make such a statement. 

However, it recognizes the responsibility of the male sex: "We love the most often ease In the quest for sources, references, and processing information very hot, we use our address books made in most. cases of men - and for all subjects - as if they were multitasking This report therefore timely and provocative, " he concludes.

Actually the established wisdom is that only women can multitask.

Women, only for bad news
to believe the report UCOFEM, recurrences of unequal representation in the media are legion. An excerpt clearly described the facts: "Women are rarely arrested as expert sources or as celebrities And while under-represented in the most important roles, women receive media attention more often than men. as victims of violence, so the bad news . "

A peculiarity of this thesis reinforces gender inequality: "These are the men who talk about gender violence women do not speak very little or almost on practices that put their lives in danger like." Femicide ", rape , sexual harassment or domestic violence. media contribute to reinforce traditional gender roles, and therefore help to progress towards gender equality. "

Although recently, the press has seen an increase in the number of women journalists, it does not necessarily guarantee a greater number of female sources. The authors of the report on the image of women in the DRC concluded: "Many women do not give more women sources Having a critical mass of women in media companies does not mean that women will have more. voice in the media. Gender equality is not a priority in the DRC. "

The truth is that if the DR Congo and particularly the eastern DR Congo want to bring about stability and some sort of new normality then involving women in the governance and power structures formal and informal is a must. 

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