A R700 000 shot in the arm from the Open Society Foundation for South Africa (OSF-SA) will allow Quote This Woman+ to keep its doors open in 2022. Quote This Woman+ is an intersectional feminist non-profit fighting to end gender discrimination when it comes to whose stories get told, and whose opinions are listened to, in the news. The organisation is based in South Africa but has a footprint in Southern and Central Africa too.
According to QW+ director Kathy Magrobi, the funding is critical given that in South Africa, as in most countries in the world, only one in every five sources interviewed in a news story is a woman. “Quote This Woman+ works to change this by providing journalists with easy access to a growing database of great women – and otherwise marginalised – expert sources that they can reach out to when they’re looking for somebody to help them close the gender gap and make their news more reflective of the society they’re reporting about – and for.” There are close to 600 experts on their database in 50 categories, starting at agriculture and ending at xenophobia. This database is accessed by over 1000 journalists from all over the world.
If journalists request women+ experts beyond the ambit of the database, the organisation also does its best to help track them down. Other primary activities include lobbying against common stereotypes in reporting; and providing media training and coaching to women+ experts to help them develop confidence in media work and establish authentic voices appropriate for their individual narratives.
Linked to this, QW+ has started a tradition of storytelling events for the community of women+ experts, where they learn to take the virtual stage and speak authentically to an audience they trust.
OSF-SA is the South African national foundation of the global philanthropic organisation the Open Society Foundations. The organisation’s vision is for a just, equitable and inclusive South Africa. “As a primarily grantmaking organisation, OSF-SA seeks to support and prioritise the rights and needs of women and young people. Our support to Quote This Woman+ provides a timely opportunity to do so. Through this support, we hope to help centre the narratives and experiences of women in this country,” said OSF-SA Executive Director, Bulelwa Ngewana. “
“This grant acknowledges not only the critical issue of gender parity in media, but also the important role of creating awareness and providing the necessary media training required for women+ experts to become active in promoting their voices,” says Magrobi. “This funding has arrived not a moment too soon as we have exhausted our previous funder’s grant cycle – from the South African Media Innovative Program (SAMIP) – which closed to South African non-profits during the course of last year. “We are incredibly grateful to the entire SAMIP team for our journey with them; we know that the level of support we have had from SAMIP has been extraordinary.”
Quote This Woman+ draws its funding from grants, crowdfunding, and from a proportion of its media training which is fee-based. It does not charge experts to join its database, and it does not charge journalists to access the database. The non-profit is accepting contributions and sponsorships to fund costs to keep its organisational work alive. For more information on QW+ or how you can support its social efforts, please visit www.quotethiswoman.org.za or contact Kathy Magrobi at 0846888980.
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