Q: Why do you believe The Global Report on Women in the News Media is needed?
NDG: I think it’s relevant because very little data is available about women in news media. …When I was doing my master’s degree, there were so many women studying and pursuing journalism. But at the end of the day, how many of them were actually recruited at media companies? It becomes very limited. And they occupy such inferior positions that do not enable them to excel. And I’m thinking of the case of Cameroon, where I’ve had my female colleagues write down these complaints that they are actually sexually harassed by their male counterparts. It becomes very difficult for them to excel in such environments. I think that with this research we will be able to raise the consciousness of people and of employers that they can recruit an equal number of women, particularly in the news media. It’s not only about the news media, but everywhere.
Q: What impact do you think this project will have?
NDG: It will have national, international and even regional impact. From the national perspective at least, from my point of view, it will help to raise consciousness among policy makers as to how we can implement changes to be able to come up with gender policy in recruiting. More people will be able to say, “Okay, this is an issue; it is raising eyebrows at an international level.” So at a national and international level, details will be available on this subject.
Q: What prepared you to oversee the research for your area of the world?
NDG: What interested me in this was that I had done my research on the underrepresentation of poverty in the media and I took a case study of Cameroon. The books I came across were quite fascinating. I grew up in Cameroon. I studied in Cameroon. I think I normalized the way things were. I said, “Okay, it is normal for the man to be first.” The more I studied different countries, the more I realized that it was not about just men doing things, but women who struggled to do the same things. This is not just about women’s status. It’s about women’s well-being and wealth. That was my enthusiasm toward the project.