25.08.2004 General News

Media must stop negative reportage on women

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Accra, Aug. 25, GNA - Ms Sarah Akrofi-Quarcoo, President of Women In Broadcasting (WIB), on Wednesday called on the Media to stop the usual demonstration of women in negative roles and images. She said news reports on women had often tended to focus on their physical appearance rather than their achievements as leaders in their own right.

Ms Akrofi-Quarcoo, a Women's Advocate, was speaking at a sensitisation workshop for Media practitioners on the: "Women's Manifesto for Ghana" in Accra due to be launched next month.

The workshop organised by Abantu For Development, a nongovernmental organisation (NGO) and sponsored by Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) was to explain the Manifesto to the Media.

Ms Akrofi-Quarcoo said aside the poor coverage and neglect of issues concerning women, issues relating to sex crimes against women had often tended to be judgemental and women treated as offenders rather than victims.

She said women's access to the Media remained negligible due to poor structural and institutional arrangements and the exclusion particularly of gender sensitive women from decision-making positions in the Media.

She said in spite of women's immense contribution to democracy, the Media continued to marginalize their concerns and issues.

The Women Advocate said the underlying commercial interest, that governs the Media worldwide and the perception that "sex sells" perpetuated the stereotyping of women.

Ms Akrofi-Quarcoo also noted that in spite of these concerns there were slight improvements in the status of women in relation to the Media as result of Ghana's return to constitutional democracy. The number of women on Boards of state-owned Media organisations and editorial positions has increased.

She urged the Government in collaboration with the National Communication Authority (NCA) to come out with a policy that would mandate adequate representation of women and children in programming to ensure that all programmes were gender sensitive.

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