Where Are the Women: Female Experts on Afghanistan Missing from TV Media
The Washington Post reports that out of the 98 television programs to publish their guest lists in the Post this month, only 12 were to feature women as experts on the post-September 11 crises. The lack of women given airtime, however, does not correspond to women’s expertise on the issues. Television media may not be making the effort to look for women commentators. “It’s not like there aren’t any women out there,” said Barbara Cochran, head of the Radio and Television News Directors Association. “You just have to make it a goal to find them.” Television newsrooms are also largely male operations. While women are 40 percent of the TV news workforce, they make up only 20 percent of news directors.
The Feminist Majority has led the Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan for nearly five years and has been recognized as an authority on the plight of Afghan women as well as the Taliban’s horrific rule of gender apartheid. Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal has given briefings to Congress on the topic and has testified before a joint hearing of two U.S Senate Foreign Relations subcommittees. Women in the Senate and the House are also playing pivotal roles in the war on terrorism by holding special orders, educating their constituents about the issues, and most importantly, by introducing and voting on legislation that directly impacts not only the war but also the Afghan people.
Media Resources: Washington Post, 11/08/01; Christian Science Monitor, 11/08/01; Feminist Majority