Frontline Farmers, Backline Sources: Women as a tertiary voice in climate change coverage
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Gender meaning construction and interpretation, which suggest women's inferiority to men, is deeply rooted in social-cultural signs and codes drawn from traditional contexts. In Uganda, girls start to face this reality at an early age. Among low income earning families, very few are enrolled in school, thus as they grow up they suffer from invisibility created by low education and income levels. This paper notes how such gender realities in the media have been investigated in other parts of the world and that the general thesis has been that the media have “marginalized women in the public sphere.” Turning to the position of women as both sources and reporters, in Uganda this area of inquiry has been given little scholarly attention. To fill that gap, this essay draws upon feminist media theory to help contextualize findings obtained through content analysis (N = 671) data drawn from two Ugandan newspapers. Using climate change as a coverage issue, since 56 percent of women in Uganda are farmers, the results of this study show that the gender gap in Uganda is highly pronounced, with women as sources ranked third in importance after men and anonymous sources.