|Towards Affirmative Action|
|Written by Susan Manhando|
Towards Affirmative Action: Issues of Race, Gender and Equality at the SABC: Case Studies of Natal Women Broadcasters
By Susan Manhando (1994)
Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Master of Arts degree in Media Studies, University of Natal, Durban
Data and information gathered has been assessed against the background of women broadcasters employed by Natal Broadcasting Services. Natal women broadcasters have served as case studies to analyse:
* how 'affirmative' has affirmative action been between 1990 and 1994;
The study explores the relationship between gender, race and equality and the concept of affirmative action. It has investigated whether issues of gender and race have significantly influenced the allocation of assignments and job opportunities within the SABC.
The study has also attempted to address the possibilities of, and the limitations on, women breaking the stereotypical roles socially assigned to them. Women are beginning to appear increasingly on the television screen and at the radio microphone. It is also important to analyse the extent to which they are involved in production and in management.
Recent feminist media studies have focused on how the mass media can serve the needs and interests of women. A possible way of doing this would be to have women in positions of power and control in media organisations (UNESCO, 1987). I make use of feminist theories to investigate the participation of women within the media industry. This analysis will be done within the Natal Broadcasting Services, one of the regional branches of the SABC covering the Kwazulu\Natal region, in the context of the SABC as a whole.
The objective of this research has been to investigate the participation and views of women in the media from 1990 to 1994. This period coincides with the change inthe SABC and the move towards post-apartheid era after February 1990. The method used to analyse this involved:
This has been determined by analysing the SABC records regarding:
* kinds of positions held by women;
The implications of such ratios will be examined among women at the SABC through semi-structured and administered interviews.
A programme was launched by UNESCO which aimed to promote the equality of women and men. The Programme's theme was, "The Contribution of the Media to Promoting Equality between Women and Men and strengthening Women's Access to and Participation in Communication" (UNESCO 1987). As a result of this project, five case studies were carried out covering different parts of the world, namely Canada, Ecuador, Egypt, India and Nigeria. These studies dealt specifically with women in media employment and media decision-making. However, these case studies did not deal significantly with the question of race relations, mainly because in these countries, race is not as problematic a concept as it is in South Africa.
Therefore, it is the objective of this study to marry the concepts of equality, gender and race already touched upon by other writers to try and understand the concept of affirmative action in relation to women broadcasters in South Africa's Natal Province.