UNESCO, in close collaboration with the Journalists Union of Lesotho will be commemorating the International Women’s Day on March 8th, 2013. The event will be held at the Lesotho National Commission for UNESCO on Friday starting 10.00a.m. This commemoration marks the global initiative of “Women Make the News” under the theme “Towards a Global Alliance on Media and Gender.” The theme adopted in Lesotho is “Gender policy is not enough without the Media Policy.”
The participants will comprise of media practitioners, government representatives as well as civil society organisations.
The day which will be marked by speeches and debates by different stakeholders is focusing on the current situation of women and the media in Lesotho. It is also organised to highlight the importance of establishing a Lesotho media policy that gives balance attention to gender issues. This debate is necessary because currently, the only time that women are given a platform to voice their issues is when they are victims of rape or any other form of violence in Lesotho.
Unfortunately this is also the case with most media houses women representation as it is still believed that there are certain issues that can only be covered by men and not women. This bars most women from getting top posts or even promotions in the newsrooms because they are said to be vulnerable” says Ms. Marafaele Mohloboli, the Lesotho Journalist Association Coordinator.
The situation is compounded by a restricted media terrain with little training facilities and little regard for women as they are perceived as legal minors, as well as the fact that there is not a single daily newspaper. Journalists are therefore not motivated to focus on women issues and their achievements.
The support from UNESCO during this celebration of Women’s day, will also help revive the Journalists Union of Lesotho women’s wing which focuses more on empowering women journalists and promoting gender equality in the media. The commemoration will also encourage other women to stand up and voice their own issues thus helping them realize that they also make news like everybody else.