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Multi-Media Campaign on Gender and Power Relations

Introduction

The concept gender refers to the different societal expectations, norms and values ascribed to men and women, and to boys and girls while gender equality can be defined as a social order in which men and women share the same opportunities and or obstacles in participating in the socio-economic affairs of their society.

 Gender Gathering

Gender equality should be looked at in terms of equality under the law, equality of access, equality of voice and equality in power sharing.


Background

The population of Namibia is estimated to be 2.1 million, with a growth rate of 2.6 and population density of 2.1 persons per sq.km. The majority of the population (67%) resides in the rural areas. Overall, women constitute more than half of the population outnumbering men with (51%) compared to (49%) and ratio of 94/100 females. Available data shows that 52% of voters in Namibia are women compared to 48% men. There is a belief that education is the greatest equalizer in social, political and economic spheres. In Namibia, available statistics indicate that currently in the education sector both enrolment and graduation, right from primary school to tertiary education, females outnumbers the male population. However, the equalizer concept falls short home. For example, the percentages of seats held by women in government, from parliament to local authority in % by end of 2010 are not encouraging. The picture is as follow: Cabinet 23%; Parliament 22%; Regional Councils 23%; and Local Authorities 40%.

Gender equality is enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia; however, the daily lives of women have been relegated into inferiority status as a result of societal constructs. Namibia participated in the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China in 1995, adopted the Beijing Plan of Action and soon after Namibia’s National Gender Policy was promulgated with the following thematic areas amongst others:

·         Gender Poverty and Rural Development

·         Gender Balance in Education and Training

·         Gender and Reproductive Health

·         Gender and Economic Empowerment

·         Gender Balance in Power and Decision-making

·         Gender and the Environment

·         Gender and Legal Affairs

·         Gender Based Violence

·         The Namibian Girl Child 

 In addition to the above, Namibia is signatory to the 2008 SADC Protocol on Gender and Development that commits member countries to ensure 50/50 gender representation by 2015. Namibia is expected to hold the Presidential and National Assembly elections in 2014 and the Regional and Local Authority election in 2015. The importance and opportune timing of this campaign cannot be over emphasised.

 


Statement of the Problem

Although the country made tremendous strides in the first ten years after independence to fill the gap of gender inequality, of recent Namibia has witness a drop in progress to its efforts to achieving gender equity, most especially in governance, both in public as well as private institutions. Right from highest public institutions to the household level, the daily lives of women have been relegated into inferiority status as a result of societal constructs. Women are traditionally disadvantaged as their access to productive assets and employment opportunities is less secured. Generally, there is income inequality between women and men in Namibia as shown by the levels of Gini - coefficient figure which is higher for men (.64) than for women at (58), suggesting that, there is an economic gap between men and women in Namibia.

 


Target Population

The “Namibia Gender and Power Relations” Multi-Media Campaign will be a national project targeting boys and girls, men and women and institutions of power.


 

Time Frame

Currently the project is slated for two years to start May 2014 and run through to May 2016. However, depending on the reception and impact it could be shorter or can be extended.


 

Goal of this Project

The goal of this project is to create awareness, provide a platform for the public to engage for gender as national discourse and advocate for democratic governance and participation of both men and women in all social life from a gender perspective in order to contribute to the realisation of an inclusive and just Namibian society where every citizen enjoys his or her human rights and equal opportunities regardless of his/her socio-economic or political standing.

 


Objectives

The specific objectives of the project are:

  • To organize and encourage national and regional debates and discussions on democratic governance and participation for all, from a gender perspective;
  • To provide the necessary skills and expertise in mass and multi-media for a national gender dialogue;
  • To produce print and audiovisual materials aimed at setting the pace for a national gender discourse;
  • To donate all produced materials to institutions with gender specific programmes for use and further distribution;
  • To create platforms for gender and power relations discussions through talk shows, public debates and lectures; using ICT and social media by developing a Namibia Gender website with blogging, SMS and polling facilities that will provide opportunities of material incentives through draws and price awards.

Justification of the Project

The “Join-Us” multimedia campaign on Gender and Power Relations will be designed creatively beyond the limitations of the traditional one-directional mass media communication, it would allow  instant feedback, it would be fun, creative, entertaining, educational, informative and promotional, it will be interlinked with mass media approaches such as outreach activities and other interactive processes such as public debates, dramas, discussions and lectures, giving insight into the need to understand audiences as diverse, and to the importance of providing opportunities for audiences to 'talk back' and to engage with the campaign.

The “Join-Us” multimedia campaign is about empowering people to address individual, community and social level transformation of the way boys and girls, men and women coexist, interact and share public space and society’s resources amongst themselves including governance.


Methodology

The methodology anticipated is to partner with stakeholders interested in the gender and governance dialogue. Specific institutions identified include the Ministry of Gender, Women and Child Welfare; Ministry of Education; Ministry of Information and Communication Technology; political parties; NBC (Radio & TV); Telecom Namibia; MTC; Local radio stations; Local print media houses; Electoral Commission of Namibia; Women and Development (WAD); UN and NGOs.

The project will start with the creation and hosting of the Namibia Gender and Power Relations Campaign website that will start with a baseline poll survey; the website would cater for all national languages and English. Other implementation activities will include:

  • Develop print materials, radio and TV programs aimed at introducing the campaign;
  • Distribution points for print materials will include hair salons, open markets, clinics doctors’ consulting rooms, banks, restaurant, municipality pay points etc.;
  • Quizzes and SMS competitions with prizes would help propel the messages;
  • With social media, messages from the audiovisual bouquet would be available on social through the website in a language and format targeting social media enthusiasts, more especially the youth. In addition messages would be put in formats for downloads targeting the rural and urban population;
  • Key messages will be distributed through Cell phones, website portal, public automobiles and screens for example through school and community libraries and halls;
  • Audio messages will be packaged in CDs and flash drives and distributed to hair salons and automobiles (taxi and buses) with draws and price awards to owners;
  • Produce Audiovisual Gender heroines bouquet (women who inspire women folk and the community at large, credentials on achievements, not necessarily political, those who qualify as gender heroines must be achievers in their right, our sisters and our mothers, with aperitif slots or “sights, movement and sounds and people and gender bouquet of our heroines),  Gender Theme Song, DVD, fabric backdrops and banners
  • Produce four Gender Docu-drama films from four blocks with duration of 8 minutes times four blocks. Documentation would cover, comedy inserts, discussions, debates, interactive sessions, dramas, interviews, extra-curricular activities, workshops, relevant meetings and parliamentary sessions,
  • Produce four short audio stories and messages; these inserts would correspond to the themes expressed on social media and the location issues.

Because of the importance of gender equality, the final products of all the agreed formats would be launched by high profile personalities.