Gender portrayal in radio programmes in Uganda: a case of UBC radio, MamaFm and CBS radio Kampala
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The study set out to examine gender portrayal in radio programmes in Uganda. Particularly the study was concerned with the way radio programmes depict male and female images. The study assessed whether women are under-represented and / or misrepresented in radio programmes and also assessed whether radio messages disseminate and perpetuate the traditional stereotypes of men and women. A cross-sectional research design which involved collection of data from 15 key informants from Mama FM, UBC and CBS radio stations was used. In addition 5 radio programs from each of the above mentioned radio stations were analyzed and 10 listeners (5 women and 5 men) from Mama FM, UBC and CBS radio stations were interviewed. Content analysis was used to analyze the selected radio programs in order to determine men and women’s representation. Collected data was presented thematically in line with study objectives. Data was presented in tables containing frequencies and percentages and then descriptively analyzed. The study found out that men dominate socio-political and economic spheres of life and so, is the representation of men in those spheres. Patriarchal values influence attitudes, whereby the portrayal of women in the radio programmes remains contextually influenced by male owners and producers of radio messages. Hence the production and reproduction of traditional masculine perspectives of women as well as perpetuation of gender stereotypes that symbolically reinforce the subordinate women in the society are enhanced. The under-representation and misrepresentation of women in radio programmes could be a reflection of their real subordinate positions and limited power in Uganda. In addition, commercial programmes do not target women since programmes are designed with the aim of drawing the rich audience’s attention and yet women are considered among the poor. Women were not only underrepresented in different radio programmes, but they were also misrepresented. Women rarely featured in radio programmes but once they featured, messages about them were stereotyped. The study concludes that radio programmes do perpetuate and promote traditional gender stereotypes of men and women. Hence it is important to have gender mainstreaming in the media, encourage women to join journalism and also to enhance the capability of women media organizations to be able to fight against negative portrayal of women in the media.