By Linley Bignoux
Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mireille Martin expressed that the media plays a crucial role in the function of society and that women need to be represented in the editorial and reporter ranks to give a balanced view of gender in Mauritian society and that of “gender reporting equality”.
She called on the media to use their distinctive position and to exert their influences in a democratic society to support efforts to encourage gender egalitarianism as well as reverence and integrity towards women and girls in a now progressive Mauritian society.
However, Minister Martin also postulated unease over the portrayal of women and girls being on the negative side in social network internet sites and media, spreading and maintaining gender inequalities and stereotypes in the Mauritian society further.
Martin expressed that women need to interfere whenever women are pessimistically described or illustrated as “objects” essentially in advertising promotions, marketing of products, in newspapers and broadcast journalism like radio and television by joining in on the debate through women’s NGOs and political organizations in the country.
In July 2008, Gender Links, a Southern African NGO promoting gender fairness, reported in a study that women represented in southern Africa media houses stood only at 19%, with the proportion of women present on television at 28% only, with radio broadcasting reaching 22%, with print media at a mere 18%. In respect to gender in the newsroom in Mauritius, women comprised 33% of reporters/journalists in Mauritius.
Equally, in 2009, UNESCO indicated in a report, at the current rate of progress on stereotyping women, it would take over70 years to accomplish gender equality in the media globally because of perceptions of women in