Women mostly absent from Guatemalan journalism

By Ingrid Bachmann

Female voices rarely appear -- as sources or journalists -- in Guatemalan media, which use women only for advertising or marketing purposes, said Alva Batres, coordinator of the Presidential Secretary for Women (SEPREM) in the department of Izabal, reported Cerigua.

Such marginalization is part of a bigger problem in Guatemala. Central America has one of the highest levels of violence against women in the world. In Guatemala, for example, the number of incidents of femicide was 30 times higher in 2009 than the previous year. Guatemala is ranked as 103 (out of 155 countries) in the United Nations' gender development index, which measures equality between men and women.

Batres said in her interview with Cerigua that the macho culture is present in the management and administration of the media, and access to the media, which results in women being used only for economic purposes by the newspaper industry.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.