Women in Ghana attracted little media attention in 2010

A research, commissioned by the Ghana Media Standards Improvement Project (GMSIP), showed that women in Ghana attracted 15 per cent media coverage in 2010, compared with 85 percent for men in the same period.

Majority of the women covered in the media were either politicians or government officials, with labourers and unemployed attracting no coverage, the research revealed.

These findings were announced at a day’s gender sensitization forum to commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day in Ho, on Wednesday.

The finding indicated that most news stories were routine and made men more visible than women.

It said out of the six newspapers studied, the state media appeared to be the worst culprits, with as many as seven male stories to one for females.

It further showed that while 7.4 per cent of news stories placed men on the front pages only 5.1 percent female stories attracted front page attention.

The Researcher, Ms Abena Yeboah, Assistant Lecturer at the School of Communication Studies, noted that, “naturally, due to women’s under-representation, they lagged behind in all the news topics coded”.

She said for instance, in social news, which received the highest coverage and generally deemed to affect women more, only 18 per cent coverage was given to women against 82 per cent for men.

On attribution, Ms Yeboah said 24 per cent of men were quoted in news reports while women were usually paraphrased.

She described the situation as “woeful under-representation of women” and challenged journalist to go into “enterprise journalism” to open up to more women.

Ms Yeboah also urged the media to consciously draw out gender perspectives of issues they cover and report more on women to integrate them into national discourses.

Dr. Audrey Gadzekpo, Senior Lecturer, School of Communication Studies, Legon took participants through content analyses of some newspapers and urged the media to be more proactive in the coverage of gender issues.

Ms Ajoa Yeboah-Afari, GMSIP Coordinator said the forum was to create gender awareness in the media.

She noted that irrespective of the 2010 census figures, which indicated that women outnumbered men, there were still marginalization of women in news coverage and other media work.

“We still use photos in which the caption will identify all the men and leave out the single woman in the shot-even if she is in the foreground, standing next to the other dignitaries; we still have media coverage that tends to propagate “colo” ideas about gender roles.” Ms Yeboah-Afari said.

GMSIP is a collaboration of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) and the Ghana Journalists Association and sponsored by the Royal Danish Embassy.

Source: GNA

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.