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Report: Coverage of women candidates in the 2017 national assembly elections

22 May, 2018
The report found that female candidates in Lesotho had less coverage in the media. Read more for details.

“During the 2017 National Assembly Elections, the media did not do well as regards granting women candidates who contested the elections.” So reveal MISA Lesotho study on Coverage of Women Candidates in the 2017 National Assembly Elections is out.

“There were no clearly-articulated plans by the observed media houses that were geared towards granting women a platform to canvass their elections campaigns visa-a-visa their male counterparts, who by virtue of being on the helm of their political parties NECs, stool at a vantage point”.

According to study, generally women political candidates in Lesotho suffer coverage of the media for varying reasons, including;

  • Political campaigns being led by the male political leaders thereby seeing no need to have women candidates specific campaigns
  • Women candidates absence of communication strategy for individual candidates as opposed to political party general communication strategy
  • Lack media houses policies on coverage of women candidates coupled with absence of journalists interested in the subject
  • Limited capacity on the use of new media which is visible in the very low level use of social media platforms by women candidates.

In summary the study recommends that media houses should have;

  • Gender equality as part of the editorial policy with MISA Lesotho supporting media houses to formulate editorial policies with gender equality content
  • Promotion of female journalism and editorship whereby an effort to promote female journalists and editors who will be trained to cover women
  • A specific project for media empowerment is necessary to explore ways in which female politicians can be empowered on effective use of the media along side training of female journalists and editors.

The study that is available at MISA Lesotho on request covers newspapers, radio stations and social media platforms since 1st May to 15thJune, 2018

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About MISA

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) was founded in 1996. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.

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