The Media Must Improve How it Covers Gender-Based Violence
After a man raped a female student, one newspaper reported the rape as 'stranger than fiction' because two other girls that had been assaulted did not scream or raise an alarm. Another story focused on how male teachers are afraid of teaching in girls' schools in case they be accused of rape. The writer wrote about how girls are seducing teachers by sitting with their legs uncrossed, or by not wearing their underwear.
In an interview on live television, another journalist asked a woman who had been robbed and raped 'whether she had provoked the rapists by saying something, doing something or by what she was wearing.' In these instances, the media has refused or has been incapable of conceptualising the issue of rape of women and girls as an assertion of male power over women or of recognising men as people who have agency and must take responsibility for their actions, writes Jemimah Njuki for The Aspen New Voices Fellowship.
The Aspen Institute, 29 August 2018
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