The Image of Sudanese Politician Women in the Media

Media is affecting people perceptions on the issues they reflect and concentrate on; it is not just a mirror of the society. Here I’m going to observe how the media is reflecting the image of Sudanese politician women specifically; which affect by way or another women political participation.
What do I mean by politician women?
I targeted by “politician women” women in political parties, parliamentarian women and women in leading positions within the executive and judiciary institutionsز

The media:
I’ve targeted 3 satellite channels and 5 newspapers and tried hardly to find a magazine (social, political or economic) from 1st -15th Sep 2011

Satellite Channels:
• Sudan National TV.
• Blue Nile TV.
• Ashoroq TV.

• Alsahafa (suspended for two days during my observations)
• Alrai Alaam.
• Aljareeda.
• Alentebaha.
• Almeedan (which was suspended at that time)
• Hawas Magazine (economic- social only I’ve found July edition)
Also I did some search on the website of these newspapers and satellite channels for interviews or news related to politician women.

Sudan National TV broadcast and website:
• H. E. Ms. Sanaa Hamad; State Minister of Information in a press conference on the incidents of Blue Nile State at Sudanese Media Services Centre, Sep 3rd, 2011.
• H. E. Ms. Sanaa Hamad; State Minister of Information had visited the family of dead journalist Mr. Ahmed Alomerabi. (Website)
Blue Nile TV broadcast and website:
Hatta Taktamil Alsoura (Until the image is complete) a political show presented by a man and all the guests for two weeks were men.
Ashoroq TV broadcast and website:
Mentioned some state ministers’ in earlier news in the website.
• Ms. Naiema Mohamed Abdalla; Gazira State Minister of Social Welfare. (July 2011)
• Women Union of North Kordofan Ramadan program, and workingwomen association offering microfinance loans.
• Advancing women education project in Northern State sponsored by Ms. Sara Said Mohamed; Wife of Minister of Defense; supporting poor families and orphans of soldiers who had gone in war. (June 2011)
• The biggest training campaign for employees in West Darfur State; a picture of two women behind 3 men with no details. ( August 2011)
• News on high maternal mortality rates in Kassala State; 3 interviews with the director of integrated treatment of mothers and childhood illnesses; head of culture and education committee in the state parliament and representative of women and child directorate in social welfare ministry.

Two news about H. E. Ms. Sanaa Hamad, the state Minister of Information was written on Alrai Alaam and Alentibaha newspapers (2,3 Sep)
An article was written on page 8 in Alraai Alaam Newpaper commenting on the TV show produced by Blue Nile TV and broadcasted on Eid hosting the ministers Ms. Sanaa Hamad, Ms. Ishraga Ahmed Mahmoud and Ms. Amira Elfadil; the interview concentrated on the domestic roles of the ministers and how they can manage their houses.
Although the political file on Aljareeda newspaper is prepared by a woman; Ms. Fatima Ghazali; but still they do not focus on politician women; for the whole 2 weeks of observation they didn’t tackle any issue or news about Sudanese politician women.

The absence of politician women from the media make me think if there are no Sudanese politician women or the media is not tackling women issues.
Media treat politics as a “male” profession; and women should stay away. It neglects women political participation at all levels and institutions as if it does not exist. At the same time they focus on the reproductive domestic role for women although if they are politically active they should be mothers and housewives.
Some media I didn’t observe as Omdurman Satellite Channel which was started its broadcasting on August 1st, 2011 and committed 2 interviews with politician women; Dr. Mariam Alsadig; Vice president of Umma party and Ms. Hala Mohamed Abdelhaleem; President of Modern Democratic Forces Movement; and the first political movement president women in Sudan .

Sudanese media plays a negative role in increasing women political participation; because they promote stereotypes of women as housewives and mothers. In order to advance their role in promoting political participation media needs loads of work and reform of policies, training for journalists and policy makers.