• Tuesday, October 6, 2015
  • A program of IPS Inter Press Service supported by the Dutch MDG3 Fund

    Africa Day Marks Struggle for Gender Equality


    Peter Mollema, Deputy Amb.Royal Embassy of the Netherlands, Ferial Haffajee, Editor City Press newspaper, Govin Reddy, IPS Africa Board Member and Dr Kerrin Myres, WITS Business School.

    Gender equality was critical to improving progress on delivery of the Millennium Development Goals, deputy ambassador of the Royal Embassy of Netherlands, Peter Mollema told participants at an Inter Press Service (IPS) Africa public forum to mark Africa Day.

    The May 25, 2009 event also marked the launch of the IPS Gender Wire which is one of the organisation’s MDG3 “Communicating for Change: Voice, Visibility and impact for Gender Equality” project funded by the Dutch Government’s MDG3 fund.

    Molema said the Dutch government was committed to supporting initiatives to speed up the deliver of the MDG goals.

    Guests at the event, hosted at the Wits Business School in Johannesburg, South Africa, included journalists, newspaper editors, TV and radio producers, ambassadors, academics and gender experts.

    Ferial Haffajee, IPS Africa Board Chairperson and Editor of City Press newspaper.

    Renowned South African editor Ferial Haffajee challenged participants to find new and interesting ways to present development stories in a world of celebrity journalism: “Against the deluge of global trends, IPS continues to tell the story beneath. The stories that will not necessarily make headlines, but which will make a difference,” she noted.

    “Impact; Efficiency; Accountability: These are concepts we journalists must deal with if we are to assist the path of Africa’s growth and development. Too often, we are more comfortable dabbling with numbers, entitlement and power and the trappings of power than studying its outcome,” she said.

    Commenting on the spread of stories on the IPS Gender Wire, Haffajee added: “Your gender-wire is like an alternative hot-wire in an era where women are still often only depicted as the sum of their body-parts. We are so much more and you know this.”

    This public event was followed by a 4-day MDG3 seminar for journalists, editors and civil society groups during 26 to 28 May in Randburg, Johannesburg, and followed by a field trip to Helen Joseph Hospital and the Channel Africa radio studios on 29 May.

    “Africa Day is a good opportunity to highlight the fact that the voices of more than half of the continent’s population remain muted in the media. Our challenge goes beyond raising their voices – we need to ensure that women are active participants in the debates around political, social and economic developments on the continent,” said IPS Africa regional director Paula Fray.

    African IPS MDG3 Seminar – Snapshots from Johannesburg, May 2009

    IPS Africa brings together senior reporters and gender organisations to review the existing editorial challenges and opportunities on the continent

    IPS looks at information as an agent of change

    IPS Africa, a leader in development news

    Ferial Haffajee Ferial Haffajee’s speechDownload PDF File 69Kb(PDF File 69Kb)

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