Women’s share in govt media ‘dismal’

Kathmandu, June 5:

There are only a handful of women journalists in the state-owned media houses, a study says. This despite the fact that the government has introduced a policy to ensure a quota of 33 per cent for women in every organ of the state.

Report of a study carried out by journalist Yek Raj Pathak on the “State of Inclusion in State-Owned Media” says, “Out of 2,096 staffers and journalists working in state-owned media houses — Rastriya Samachar Samiti, Gorkhapatra Corporation, Radio Nepal and Nepal Television — only 254 are women.”

Out of 258 staffers of RSS, only 21 are women, the study report states. Only 67 out of 632 Gorkhapatra Corporation staffers are women.

The situation is no different in Radio Nepal. Out of 675 employees of the state-run radio station, 92 are women. Out of 531 Nepal Television staffers, 65 are women.

The representation of ethnic communities in the four media houses is also not satisfactory. Other indigenous nationalities, excepts the Madhesis, comprise 14 per cent of the workforce on payroll at the state-run media houses. Madhesis and Dalits comprise only 8 and 4 per cent

of workforce at the state-media, report of the study carried out with support from Freedom Forum maintains.

The Federation of Nepali Journalists states that around 7,210 journalists, including 543 women journalists, are associated with it.

According to chairperson of the Active Women Journalists’ Group Sangita Lama there are some 200 women journalists across the nation.

Commenting on the study, chairperson of Sancharika Samuha Nepal Babita Basnet said 33 per cent representation of women will not be enough. “Media houses should work towards ensuring 50 per cent participation of women,” she said.

However, Federation of Nepali Journalists central member Yasoda Timilsina said, “In

journalism, the idea of 33 per cent representation of women cannot be implemented as all journalists are equal”.