Media powerhouses to take the stage at Step It Up

World-renowned social entrepreneur, founder and UN Women Country Director, Anne Githuku-Shongwe, will be part of a panel discussion on challenges and opportunities for sensitive gender reporting and storytelling at the Step It Up for Gender Equality Conference on 29 August 2019.

The conference, which is hosted by UN Women South Africa Multi-Country Office (SAMCO), the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) and UN Women, will see media powerhouses such as Mahlatse Gallens (EWN editor), Xolile Tshabala (producer/actress), Zolisa Sigabi (SABC national editor: radio news), Gugulethu Mhlungu (deputy editor of Bona magazine and broadcaster) and many others take the stage in the name of more mindful content creation and sharing.

“Journalists reflect the society that they are coming from,” said Githuku-Shongwe at a GIZ Critical Thinking Forum earlier this year. “The truth is that stereotypes are so deeply embedded, and so what we really need to be doing is focusing on the norms and stereotypes. If all the billions of dollars that are spent on advertising actually starts showing the future we want to imagine, we can be influenced positively. And we can start making men imagine a gender-equal world — the media can do that,” she concluded.

The Step it Up for Gender Equality in SA Media Conference programme will host multiple panel discussions and workshops exploring topics such as:
  • The need for sensitive reporting and storytelling regarding gender, and the linked challenges and opportunities for media.
  • How to strike a balance between storytelling for social change and reflecting reality or even using blatant stereotypes.
  • How SA media are already progressing in this field and inspiration from abroad.
  • A way forward and creating a pledge for the media to commit themselves to gender equality and women’s empowerment.
For more information about the project, contact Luxolo Matomela on or to register for the conference contact .

Media contact
Tiffany Mac Sherry

About UN Women

UN Women is the UN organisation dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. UN Women work with governments, civil society and the private sector to design laws, policies, programmes and services that ensure women’s equal participation in all aspects of life, focusing on five priority areas: increasing women’s leadership and participation; ending violence against women; engaging women in peace and security processes; enhancing women’s economic empowerment; and making gender equality central to national development planning and budgeting.

About the German Development Cooperation

As a service provider in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development and international education work, the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) implements projects on behalf of the government of the Federal Republic of Germany. In 2018 the German and selected Southern African Governments (South Africa, Lesotho and Zambia) have agreed on a joint initiative: Partnerships for Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls Programme (PfP). The overall objective of the programme is to strengthen the cooperation between governmental, non-governmental and private sector actors to prevent violence against women and girls in Southern Africa. The programme promotes multi-stakeholder initiatives for joint and shared implementation activities, with a strong focus on primary prevention. One avenue of primary prevention is to address potentially harmful stereotypes, norms, opinions and perceptions persistent in society about gender roles, gender violence and women and girls in general. One group of actors intentionally or unintentionally playing an important role in shaping these stereotypes, norms, opinions and perceptions is the South African media sector.

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