Seeking Equity for Women in Journalism and Mass Communication Education: A 30-Year Update

By Ramona R. Rush; Carol E. Oukrop et al. | Go to book overview

15
Trends in Feminist
Scholarship in Journalism
and Communication

Finding Common Ground Between
Scholars and Activists Globally
H. Leslie Steeves

There are many problems that have catalyzed this book project, problems involving our personal experiences and observations of discrimination and oppression both locally and globally. In this chapter, I assume that theory can be useful in providing insights into problems and possible solutions. However, theories cannot address problems that are not properly described and understood in the first place.

Certainly gender inequities in communication are entwined with inequities in all areas of life. All over the world, women constitute the vast majority of unpaid family workers. In most parts of the world women have fewer opportunities than men to improve their economic status, because of greater overall illiteracy and poverty, and because of health, environmental, and family constraints. Additionally, women who obtain an education and employment often face increased sexual harassment and violence as a result. As few women participate at the highest levels of state, organizational, and media decision making globally, there is usually little effort or incentive to create or enforce laws and policies that improve the situation of women.1

____________________
1
For data and examples, see, for example, Nelson and Chowdhury (1994), Seager (2003), United Nations Development Programme (2003), United Nations (2000), and World Bank (2002,2003).

-289-

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