“Invisibles” produced by Maghreb Media

Published : 26 September 2014

Region : Magreb

wmen_and_mediaAhead of the presidential elections in Tunisia this November, the UNESCO released its newsletter “Femmes et médias au Maghrebencouraging journalists to act as a catalyst for change and to show how women are represented in the country’s public sphere. For example, in neighbouring Algeria more than a third of parliamentary seats are held by women, but they almost never appear in the media, says UNESCO.

Therefore, to have more gender-balanced media coverage of national politics in the countries of Maghreb region, the media need to interview more female politicians and to have more female presenters and women moderating debates on the screen.

As stated in UNESCO’s newsletter, after the parliamentary elections in Algeria in 2012, when women took up 31.39% of the Parliament, no media has interviewed these new 145 members of the chamber. Algerian citizens do not know what women who are members of Parliament think about the country’s economy or social affairs.

The lack of female voices in media coverage in Algeria has been noticed during the Presidential elections in April this year. “Even when media decide to include women and their issues in the coverage, the reporting is based on stereotypes and very often, sexist approach”, says UNESCO in its newsletter “Femmes et médias au Maghreb .

The newsletter is published every trimester by UNESCO’s Office in Rabat. It seeks to be an advocacy tool by encouraging research on the role of media as an actor in spreading gender equality culture.

In its seventh edition, UNESCO’s newsletter analyses the situation in Mauritanian media which covered the participation of women in the latest elections, but there is a lack of journalists specialised in gender reporting.

Debates and analyses about the situation of women in Moroccan politics are not common in the country’s media. Therefore UNESCO encouraged Moroccan journalists to develop better gender sensibility in their reporting.