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  • Ramaphosa to Lead Delegation at WEF2017

    Ramaphosa is set to lead a government, labour and business delegation on the second day of the annual WEF

    Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to lead a government, labour and business delegation on the second day of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos.

    In a statement issued by government, GCIS said on Wednesday Team South Africa will share with international delegates how South Africa aims to respond to the theme of “Responsible and Responsive Leadership” at the 46th iteration of this conference.

    “The National Development Plan is a key driver of how South Africa will enable the creation of an increasingly equitable and inclusive society,” GCIS says.

    To read the article titled, “Team SA hard at work at #WEF2017” click here.


  • Pros and Cons: Public vs Private Schools

    Choosing what type of school your child will attend can set their foundation for life, it can also set a precedent for you financially. Whether it’s public or private, here are the good and bad of both.

    Public school Pros

    • Public schools are far more affordable to attend than private schools
    • They generally have a more varied curriculum and offer more after-school activities than smaller private schools
    • Public schools are well established and have access to great facilities like sporting grounds and swimming pools
    • Children that attend their local school learn to be part of a community and take pride in it
    • They are also exposed to a greater diversity of other races and cultures

    Public school Cons

    • Big classes and overcrowding is one of the greatest issues in government schools
    • There often aren’t enough teachers to pupils
    • Large classes can result in pupils missing out on individual attention
    • Overcrowded classes may also result in pupils with learning problems being overlooked in some cases
    • There can be a lack of discipline in public schools
    • Some public schools lack access to basic resources for learning

    Private school Pros

    • Private schools often have a more challenging academic curriculum
    • Some are religious based schools and can provide regular religious classes
    • Private schools have the benefit of much smaller classes so teachers can give better individual attention
    • Private schools often have better access to resources like books, supplies and computers
    • Discipline in private schools is usually a lot stricter. If there are children that disrupt classes or ignore rules, they are more likely to be expelled from the school
    • Private schools are more traditional. This teaches pupils to value traditions and uphold these beliefs
    • Children that attend private schools often have a more established network after school through the alumni association

    Private school Cons

    • Private schools are far more expensive than public schools, and many parents can’t afford to send their children to them. This can make them quite an elite experience
    • Many of the children that attend private schools are from a wealthier background, this often puts pressure on middle class children who attend private schools as they feel they have to keep up with that standard
    • The religious emphasis can be alienating for those who follow a different religion
    • Private schools often offer a more limited curriculum and are more traditional in subject choices
    • Some of the newer private schools don’t have sporting facilities and so offer a limited range of extra-mural activities for children
    • There is often less of a racial mix so it may not be a good preparation for after-school life in South Africa
    • The decision of whether to send your child to a public or private school really depends on the child, and what kind of education and attention they need, as well as the cost of the school and if that’s an option for you

    Which schooling system would you like to choose for your child: public or private?

    • This article was written by Claire Barnardo and was first published in the Baby Group Website.

    Photo Courtesy: Express Pros

  • Is Media Part of the Problem or Solution in Addressing GBV?

    Picture this: Getting a tutorial on national television on how to master the art of covering facial bruises after you have been physically assaulted. Unbelievable and appalling stuff, right? Well this horrific fantasy became a reality in Morocco, ironically on the eve of the start of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children. The Moroccan state TV Channel 2M  on November 23 on the programme Sabahyate  aired  an episode titled The camouflage traces of violence demonstrating how women can use make up to cover evidence of domestic violence and ‘carry on with their daily life’.
    Although the directors of the media house later apologised and considered this as an inappropriate and editorial error of judgement, the damage had already been done.

    One would think the media would take a lead in breaking the silence on gender based violence (GBV) rather than trivialise it as this programme did. This incidence leads us to the big question on gender based violence and the media, whether the media is part of the problem or the solution in fighting GBV?

    Commenting on this incidence on social media prominent gender and social justice activist, Trevor Davies said, “To make domestic violence disappear for good, we need to invest in education targeting its perpetrators, and not just foundation for its victims…

    That a TV programme could even commission a segment on how women can hide their bruises from everyday domestic violence shows the extent to which violence against women and girls has been normalised around the world.”

    The media plays a vital role in raising awareness on GBV. It sets the agenda which gives it the power to dictate what people see, hear as well as shape their attitudes towards different aspects of life. However even in this era of an influx of multi-media tools to communicate, there is still a lack of awareness and dialogue on what comprises GBV, legislation frameworks in place for legal recourse, prevention mechanisms, where to go for help, care and rehabilitation. The media’s core theme should then be about speaking out, education on GBV issues and leading dialogues on coming up with solutions and ideas for prevention and care.

    In 2015, Gender Links monitored more than 27000 news items from television, radio and newspapers in 14 Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries to assess the representation and portrayal of women in the media in SADC. One of the key findings from the Gender and Media Progress Study (GMPS) is that GBV and stories that mentioned GBV account for 1% of the topics covered, despite the high levels of GBV in SADC. This is a three percentage point drop from 4% recorded in 2010. Could this mean GBV has fallen off the radar of the media and has become a tired old topic where there is nothing else to write about?

    Although it is important to cover many stories on GBV, it is equally important for the media to move beyond the numbers and give more analytical and critical coverage. News coverage must be able to probe, give analysis of the causes and the differential impact of GBV.

    The research also found that GBV is covered in insensitive ways, with questionable headlines that trivialise the experiences of women contribute to stereotypes and victim blaming. Women often suffer secondary victimisation from the media through the news reportage that emanates from some journalists.
    On a positive note the GMPS also notes that women constitute a higher proportion (58%) of sources than men (42%) in coverage of GBV. However, most stories arise from court reporting lacking analysis of figures, hence misses the opportunities for indepth, broad and analytical reporting on the topic.

    The media also often misses the opportunity to give GBV stories a human face by denying survivors the chance to speak about their experiences. Very few record the first-hand accounts of women. Although it may be difficult to interview survivors of GBV because of the sensitivity of the issue the way they are approached is also very important. According to the GMPS, spokespersons (23%) speak in most GBV stories.

    Survivors of violence make up only 13% of those speaking in GBV stories in SADC. This is a worrying trend because it means the voices of those most affected are stifled. Yet, stories of speaking out can actually give survivors of violence hope and information of where to get help as well as give agency and confidence to beat these traumatic experiences.

    The SADC Protocol on Gender and Development (Protocol) encourages the media to desist from promoting violence against all persons especially women and children, depicting women as helpless victims of abuse and reinforcing gender oppression. It also encourages the media to play a constructive role in the eradication of GBV through gender sensitive coverage.

    So if we are to meet the targets of the Protocol and the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 we need enlightened and effective media coverage to contribute to the eradication of GBV. The media must begin to move beyond court reporting, speaking mostly to spokespersons and be sensitive in reportage. Most importantly we need a media that educates and speaks firmly against GBV and not camouflage it.

    • Tarisai Nyamweda is the Media Coordinator at Gender Links. This article first appeared in the Gender Links website.

    Photo Courtesy: SABC

  • Moz to Miss Payment

    Mozambique said it would miss a $60m interest payment on a 2023 bond

    Mozambique said on Monday it would miss a $60m interest payment on a 2023 bond, as its economic crisis deepens over hidden debt, the fall in commodity prices and a cut-off in aid.

    The country is in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over resuming support that was suspended in April due to the hidden debt scandal.

    "The deteriorating macroeconomic and fiscal situation of the Republic has severely affected the country's public finances," the finance ministry said in a statement in Maputo.

    To read the article titled, “Mozambique says will miss $60m interest payment” click here.


  • Obama leaves a Legacy in Africa

    Barack Obama to live up to expectations in Africa

    It was always going to be hard for outgoing US President Barack Obama to live up to expectations in Africa.

    Born to a Kenyan father who once herded goats, the first black US president was seen as Africa's prodigal son who would understand the continent in a way white presidents never could.

    Nelson Mandela said Obama's historic victory was proof everyone should "dare to dream" and Africans gave the new president a hero's welcome.

    To read the article titled, “Obama leaves symbolic legacy in Africa” click here.