Exploring gendered experiences of women working in the media industry in Uganda : Case of Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC)
This Master’s Thesis “Exploring Gendered Experiences of Women Working In the Media Industries In Uganda: Case Of Uganda Broadcasting Corporation Kampala” explores the experiences of women in the work place in the media industry that go on unreported and unchallenged and the effect such experiences have on women’s performance in the workplace. It focuses on the national broadcaster, the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation, which employs the largest number of women than any other media house in Uganda, as a case study. The case study approach was chosen because it is an encompassing research method that can bring out both qualitative and quantitative evidence on a subject that is almost considered taboo in society. The study focused on the workplace because workplace experiences reproduce the whole society. The study is anchored on a realization that the media workplace, like most others, is gendered and prioritizes men and masculinity at the expense of femininity and women. It is awash with practices and behavior such as discrimination, sexual harassment and stereotypes against women which are normalized and are perpetuated by entrenched negative cultural beliefs and attitudes. The study employed the Feminist Media Theory and related concepts to find answers to the question: “What are the gendered experiences of women working in the media industry, how do women deal with the experiences they encounter because of their gender and how has these gendered experiences of women working in the media industry in Uganda affected their performability in the workplace?” Data was collected through qualitative methods the choice of which was because it offers the researcher an opportunity to participate actively in data collection and to adjust the research in case of unforeseen circumstances. The key findings of the study included testimonies of the women working in the media workplace of those experiences that they face almost on daily basis but which have been normalized. Such included segregation and discrimination at recruitment, deployment & assigning of roles, and promotions on the basis of gender, which x reinforced the glass ceiling in the media workplace. More testimonies were given regarding stereotypes, mansplaining and the negative portrayal of women in the media workplace which invariably impacted their performativity. The study exposed widespread sexual harassment against women in the workplace. It revealed that these experiences cause depression, stress and loss of morale to women and hence have profound effect on their performance. The study noted that while UBC and many other media houses are employing more and more women journalists, the motive is mainly business than gender equality because this gives a woman’s touch to the news so as to cultivate more women readers, viewers and listeners. Women are seen as decorative performers, and this masks their actual exclusion from the news discourse and the plight they face in the media workplace. The study concludes noting that the claim by UBC and other media work places that they are gender neutral does not hold. To the contrary their structure and operations reflect dominant masculinity and dominant feminine norms. It points that the media workplace is sex-segregated and women and men in it face different experiences, some of which have been normalized and hence go unreported and unchallenged. In situations when some of these experiences are exposed, they go unpunished even when the media houses have elaborative regulations and policies on how to address these, thanks to deep rooted masculine prejudices.
|Keywords||Feminist media theory, sexual harassment, gendered experiences, media workplace and gender, Uganda|
|Thesis Advisor||Icaza, Rosalba|
|Series||Social Justice Perspectives (SJP)|
Amutuhaire, Rosemary. (2018, December 17). Exploring gendered experiences of women working in the media industry in Uganda : Case of Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC). Social Justice Perspectives (SJP). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/46578