Media still a man’s world, only 10pc women employees: In Bangladesh journalism is dying

A RECENT global study pointed out that only 10 percent of the total employees are female in Bangladesh’s media, while only about 6 percent are reporting. Management and Resources Development Initiative (MRDI) in Bangladesh conducted a survey that outlined how mass media is still dominated by males, though females’ participation increased significantly over the years. Among the 5,950 employees working in different print and electronic media, only 612 were female. The highest number of female employees works at BTV, while the lowest number was found at ABC Radio. Among the 302 employees in decision-making roles, only 41 were female. Only 14 percent of female employees work as senior content makers, while only 5.7 percent were in reporting among 909 reporters. According to the study, 15 media houses reported measures to be in place for gender equality in newsrooms without ensuring proper balance.
Maternity leave was found to be provided by all except two organizations. A northern regional newspaper did not offer maternity leaves for their female employees, while another one chose to abstain from answering the question. Other issues included drop-off services from late evening onward and separate washroom facilities. Female journalists who were interviewed talked about various types of gender-based harassment in newsrooms. All except a regional daily from the south-east were found to be aware of the 2009 guidelines for ending abuses and harassment of women at workplaces. Two newspapers and two TV channels, including BTV and a radio outlet, reported forming the mandatory complaint redress committee and provided disaggregated numbers of committee members.
As mass media is the place that represents and inspires society in multifaceted contexts, gender equality and gender mainstreaming are vital. We recommend ensuring gender equality in all professions including the media, but women should come up in vital positions with passion and professional skills. Gender balance in the media will bring incidents of violence against women accurately and sensitively. The media has the responsibility to ensure staff wellbeing and gender-sensitive workplace, safety, and safeguarding, thus society will be more sensitive towards gender balance.
We can remain happily unconcerned because journalism is dying at the hands of journalists.

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