Print media yet to prioritise women’s issues, says report

Himalayan News Service

Lalitpur, May 26:

Nepali print media is yet to recognise and give due space to issues related to women from disadvantaged groups and communities, a report released today revealed. Gender bias is evident while reporting because most of the quotes appearing in the print are from men reflecting masculine perspective, the report, Monitoring Gender Issues in Nepalese Print Media, released by the Press Council Nepal, said. The study was conducted by going through news items published in 10 daily newspapers published from Kathmandu and 48 daily newspapers and weeklies published out of the Kathmandu valley during the months of September 2003 to September 2004. Releasing the report, Minister for Information and Communications, Tanka Dhakal, said: “The government is always committed to implementing the plans and policies that encourage women’s participation in the decision-making level.” He said the suggestions made by the report would be implemented sincerely.

The report has appreciated the print media for giving ample space to issues ranging from violence against women, children to women and children health, which have helped garner support towards gender equality in the society. The report has revealed that issues like women and environment, women and media, and trafficking are yet to get priority. The presentation regarding gender discrimination, breaking of negative image of women, implications for policy changes, struggle and success stories related with women were presented in balanced manner, the study revealed. While covering issues like rape, trafficking and sexual harassment violated women’s right to privacy, the advertisements presented women as commodity emphasising indecent body exposure, the report said. The coverage on violence against women in the print media stayed at the top list among the other critical areas which were women health, the girl child, women and poverty, women’s empowerment and decision making, human rights, education and training of women, women and armed conflict, women and media, trafficking, women and environment.