(Re)producing cultural narratives on women in public affairs programmes in Uganda
Maractho, Emilly Comfort
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Ugandan women have made tremendous strides in public life, and hold strategic positions in politics and policy-making. This increased participation in public life is attributed to Uganda’s focused pro-women constitution and affirmative action policy. In spite of this progress, women’s visibility and voice remain limited in public affairs programming in Uganda. The article examines how mass media reproduce cultural narratives that affect women in Uganda. It is part of a larger study on representation, interaction and engagement of women and broadcast media in Uganda. It is framed within critical theory, in particular feminist thought, cultural studies and public sphere theory. The research is conducted using a multi-method approach that encompasses case study design, content analysis and grounded theory. The findings suggest that the media reproduce cultural narratives through programming that mirror traditional society view of women and exclude women’s political and public narratives. The interactive and participatory public affairs programming is increasingly important for democratic participation. While men actively engage with such programming, women have failed to utilize it for the mobilization of women, reconstruction of gender stereotypes and producing new argumentation that challenge problematic cultural narratives that dominate media and society.