06 September, 2009

Gender and sexuality issues - a journalists' obligation

So, what do journalists say on gender and homosexuality- particulary in the age of digital citizens, where production of stories is in the hands of the individuals themselves?

Maureen Agenda of “Women of Uganda Network” spoke about what her organisation is doing to empower rural Ugandan women by giving them a platform for conversation about the problems and issues they face on a daily basis. She discussed how these women get an opportunity to converse about problems with farming their crops, looking after their households while living in polygamous marriages and the dangers of contracting HIV. In the panel discussion, termed, Gender, Civil Society and Digital Media, there was much deliberation around the reporting of issues related to sexuality and women, the primary focus being women in Uganda. Maureen established that the best mediums of communication for these women are radio and telephones as many of them are still uneducated.

This discussion took place at Eden Grove, Rhodes University in Grahamstown at the Digital Citizen Indaba Conference. The indaba forms part of the Highway Africa conference,running from 6-8 September. Highway Africa is currently abuzz with activity as a plethora of top class professional and citizens journalists have gathered to discuss the role journalism plays in reporting on issues affecting the marginalised.

Nthateng Mhlambiso, the Managing Editor of “Behind the Mask” spoke about the need for journalists to report on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and inter-sex (L.G.B.T.I)issues in the media. The media was urged to assume its place in society and give minorities a voice even if that means having sector specific media.

By: Chwayitisa and Hunadi

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