Women In Media
Women’s participation and representation in media as well as their access to it have consistently been an issue of discussion and debate in Ghana. A Media Foundation for West Africa research into the coverage of men and women in Ghanaian newspapers concluded that already in 2010 that women are quantitatively under-represented with other civil society organizations and studies pointing at the same phenomenon.
A lack of females as media company owners and managers is believed to be partly responsible for this problem. For most people, the imbalance is not just disadvantageous for women in terms of representation, but also demonstrates the failure of mass media to serve as a tool to raise awareness and advocate on gender equality issues.
While media experts keep pointing at the lack of females both in media ownership and media management, the Media Ownership Monitor now provides data to back their claims:
Media ownership: two female majority shareholder
Investigating the ownership of twenty-five major media companies that were sampled for the research, eleven had identifiable individual owners of which only two are females, Stella Wilson Agyepong of Oman FM Limited now Kencity Media and Edith Dankwa of the Business and Financial Times Limited were owners of media outlets.
Twelve out of the remaining companies were owned by two or more shareholders. Two of these companies - GAB Productions Limited and Western Publication - had women as shareowners. Nana Adjoa Okyere Darko of GAB Productions and Gina Blay of Western Publications Limited are both the second majority shareowner in the respective companies. Both women, however, are wives to the majority shareowners of these companies.
Status quo in media management equally unequal
The board of directors of a company has a strong influence on how an organization is run as well as on the decisions it makes. A gender balanced or gender sensitive board is considered one of the ways to encourage a variety of perspectives. While many companies acknowledge this publicly and claim to be prioritizing the issue of gender equality and balance, these numbers illustrate that this is not necessarily happening when it comes to actual board recruitment processes.
Women only make up a small percentage of the management boards of directors of the companies sampled for this study. Out of twenty-five companies, thirteen had their board members listed. Eight out of those thirteen had women amongst their board of directors. These companies were GAB Productions Limited, Western Publications Limited, Media General Ghana Limited, Network Broadcasting Company Limited, Kessben FM Limited, Graphic Communications Group Limited, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation and the New Times Corporation.
All the three state owned companies had women on their boards. However, just like the privately owned companies, the male board members outnumbered the females.
Women as managers
|Company Name||Number of Board Members||Number of Females||Number of Males|
|GAB Productions Limited||3||1||2|
|Western Publications Limited||3||1||2|
|Media General Ghana Limited||2||1||1|
|Network Broadcasting Company Limited||3||1||2|
|Kessben FM Limited||2||1||1|
|Graphic Communications Group Limited||10||2||8|
|Ghana Broadcasting Corporation||10||3||7|
|New Times Corporation||7||3||4|
Low level of equality also among CEOs
Similarly, on the issue of women in top management positions, out of the twenty-five media companies, twenty-one had identifiable CEO’s. Out of those twenty-one, three were women and eighteen were men. Edith Dankwah is the CEO of Business and Financial Times Limited. Miss Carol Anang is the CEO of the New Times Corporation which is state owned and Gina Blay is the CEO of Western Publications Limited.