Dr Emilly Maractho, the Vice Chairperson of the Uganda Media Women Association (UMWA) has disclosed that the relationship between Women Politicians and the media has persistently improved in 2020, as compared to the previous years,
Last year, UMWA in collaboration with the Demographic Governance Facility (DGF) initiated a series of trainings for women politicians on how to deal with the media in space/ time acquisition and relating with journalists,
Media practitioners too were engaged, and they pointed out some of the reasons why women politicians are not covered as compared to their male counterparts.
“We trained them how to present themselves before the media and we are happy that most of them picked up because as compared to when they had not attended our trainings, most of them can now be hosted on talk shows,” she said,
Dr. Maractho noted that the testimonies got from these politicians show an improvement.
She made these remarks while speaking to Chimpreports, shortly after the interaction dialogue between media practitioners and women politicians at Hotel Africana on Wednesday this week.
Women politicians had reported some of the challenges which they had been facing with the media and among these was; extortions, portraying them as sex objects, poor coverage, and lack of patience by media practitioners.
UMWA engaged journalists at its headquarters in Kisasi this year, who also outlined why women politicians were lacking space and time in mainstream media and among these were; politicians’ slowness, shyness and looking at journalists in negative ways by generalizing all of them,
It should be noted that last month, UMWA released a report which indicated that women politicians had been under-covered in print media between April and August this year.
The media dialogue was organized by UMWA together with the Network of Women in Politics, with help from DGF under the theme: Strengthening the Voices and Visibility of Women politicians in Uganda’s Media Coverage of Elections, Politics and Governance
Speaking at the function, Maractho noted that a section of some media houses and practioners have still shown negativity especially to young women politicians, which has made them (women politicians) to backslide them,
“I speak to women and most of them tell me that they see the media as a double-edged sword they don’t want to make themselves vulnerable and hence keep away from the media. This has also contributed to keeping women out of politics. It is important for the media to dispel the myth and empower the women to take advantage of the media. The women politicians should start the process of being known early enough because leadership is a serious business,” she noted
Hamidah Nasimbwa, the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) Women League Coordinator who is also aspiring MP Busiro East Constituency called upon journalists to continue mentoring young women politicians, since they are the first agenda setters.
“Do not stop at being a journalist but go an extra step and empower women, the women are out there but media is not approaching them. Show the women what to do. Let us empower the women to speak out and use the media often,” she said adding,
“I have faced many challenges with the media in the field while campaigning. Media doesn’t reach out to women for interviews or talk shows. We are aware that women make the largest part of our population but how is that represented in the media,”
She noted that the media often ridicules women because of the gender roles they perform and this is the reality of women politicians.
Angela Maria Namirembe, an aspiring Youth Woman Councilor for Kampala District noted that given the fact that politics has been monetized yet a few young women politicians have money.
She added that irrespective of being in position to articulate issues, senior women politicians use money to shadow many of young women politicians citing that it’s all over fear for competition.
“Let us not camouflage issues here. As a young woman and others who are not here, we are facing challenge of our fellow greedy veteran women politicians who are not giving us the space to speak,” she said.