New article “Multiskilled in Many Ways: Ghanaian Female Journalists Between Job and Home” by Kodwo Jonas Anson Boateng of University of Jyväskylä and Epp Lauk Vytautas Magnus University Kaunas investigates the challenges Ghanaian female journalists face when combining their work and family life, with gendered expectations for caregiver role.
Unstructured in-depth interviews of 23 female journalists around Ghana were conducted for the study. They had between 5 to 45 years of experience in the newsrooms and represented a variety of regional and metropolitan media. Of media types, all (print, radio, tv, news agency) all traditional media types were represented.
Most expressed frustrations on not being able to dedicate as much of their time to children as they would have liked. In addition, most worked more than the legal stipulations for daily hours for working mothers in Ghana. Elderly care was seen as less of a concern.
The working hours also impacted marital relationships, making them more stressful. Work also impaired the ability to take part in socially significant ceremonies outside work, such as marriages of relatives or friends or child naming ceremonies. Despite the frustrations, most correspondents had pride in their role as journalists.
There are progressive legislation intended to promote gender equality, but the study shows that female journalists still face discrimination stemming from the combination of socially mandated caregiver role and unequal working hours and excessive workload.
The endemic problems have not been adequately addressed by weak enforcement of existing labour policies and regulations. The authors further call attention to differences between metropolitan and regional journalists’ working hours for further study.
The study “Multiskilled in Many Ways: Ghanaian Female Journalists Between Job and Home” by Kodwo Jonas Anson Boateng and Epp Lauk is in Communication Today (open access).
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