The underrepresentation of women in media leadership roles has resulted in a limited perspective on issues that affect women.
This does not only perpetuate harmful stereotypes but also contributes to lack of diversity
of thought, which hinders innovation and progress in the media space.
Dr Charity Binka, Executive Director of Women, Media, and Change (WOMEC), said this at a media forum held by the Alliance for Women in Media (AWMA) in Accra to mark this year’s International Women’s Day.
It was on the theme: “Equity for women in media: Who cares?”
She said the lack of gender equity in the media was not just a moral issue but also an economic issue.
“While the media continue to fight tenaciously to guard, protect its right to be free from government censorship and control, it has been unable to detect, analyse and address the gender biases, prejudices and inequalities that influence and impact on its operations and content. ”
Dr Binka said maintaining gender equality was vital to the realisation of human rights for all.
“The overall objective of gender equality is to create a society in which women and men enjoy the same opportunities, rights and obligations in all spheres of life,” she said.
Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, Patron of AWMA, said it was important for media owners to address the demands of women and set up support systems to enable them to give their best efforts at work while carrying out their social obligations.
She called for the development of policies on sexual harassment and cyber bullying to encourage reporting of abuse against women and swift execution of sanctions.
The Alliance for Women in Media on International Women’s Day called on media owners, media managers and media boards to commit to institutionalising gender responsive leadership in their organisations.
It called on media managers to dismantle the age-old stereotypes by consciously providing equal access to opportunities for both males and females:
“Media owners, media managers and news editors must create gender-sensitive newsrooms that recognise the visibility of women’s leadership and work life balance,” it said.
The Alliance also asked media owners, media managers and media boards to develop a recognition system for women leaders and institute clear promotion protocols that made open the conditions for women to access equal promotion opportunities.
It also called on media owners, managers, and boards to institutionalise and review remuneration practices to ensure equal pay for equal work.