Women decry media coverage ‘exclusion’

Women decry media coverage ‘exclusion’

Women in parliament and civil society organizations have criticized the media for what they term as unfair coverage of women’s affairs.

They said the media in the country mostly concentrate on publishing men’s activities narrowing space for women to make their voices heard.

“When it comes to women, the media often take our issues as something that have no news value. We don’t appear on the front page of newspapers and our voices and our images are not played in both radio and television during news hours,” Zahra Said Ali, a program coordinator for South Sudan Network for Democracy and Election lamented.

The women raised the complaints during a consultation with women parliamentarians on the UN Women Media Advocacy Strategy on Thursday in Juba.

Zahra added that “If what we talk cannot make the news or what we are giving is not eye-catching they [media] should tell us.”

Norah Zangereo, a former Member of State Parliament in Western Equatoria State, said women were not being encouraged by the media when it comes to politics.

She said it is very rare to see women in top positions in the government.

However, Zahra admitted that some women fear making mistakes in the media because they fear it will cost them their positions.

“Media should bring the faces and the images of the former female politicians so that we can be encouraged to participate in politics,” she said.

“Men are saying there are no women who are politicians because they are not known by the public after not appearing in the media,” Norah added.

Ayen Adol Deng, one of the female journalists said it was very rare for women to invite and accept media for the interview on any topic concerning women’s affairs in the entire country.

She said most women in government positions have their press secretaries but on many occasions, they do not cooperate with independent media.

“Those speaking on national television and newspapers are only men. Women don’t accept interviews. How can you raise their voices?” Adol asked.