Why TV Stations Prefer Men Over Women for Interviews

  • A file image of a person watching TV
    A file image of a person watching TV
    File
  • A flip through debates and discussions on Kenya’s TV stations reveals a gender parity gap in terms of guests who are called to participate and shape conversations. 

    More often than not, discussions on TV are dominated by male panellists, except for topics or shows which exclusively talk about issues affecting women. 

    Mercy Maroma, a production manager at NTV, on Tuesday, August 4, admitted that the imbalance existed and explained that for her case, producers found it easier to work with male guests. 

    NTV Production Manager Mercy Maroma with journalist Larry Madowo
    NTV Production Manager Mercy Maroma with journalist Larry Madowo
    File

    “From experience, and I know I’ll get a lot of heat for this but with women, they are invited to talk shows, I have seen it. But there is that fear the night before. 

    “You can imagine that as a producer, your worst fear is that a guest could cancel in the middle of the night or at 9 pm. Some of the reasons given are ‘I haven’t fixed my hair’, ‘I’m not ready’, ‘I need to do my nails’,” the production manager explained. 

    Maroma explained that she had experienced the same situation while preparing to appear for a discussion on Joy Doreen’s Instagram Live. “How many times have I been coming to your Instagram Live?” she quipped.

    “Many producers chose to go for the guys because they don’t cancel as much as women,” she added.

    Joy Doreen also gave her experience on the number of times she had tried reaching out to women for an invitation to be part of her shows. She explained that many women were afraid of voicing their opinions due to the fear of attracting backlash. 

    Daisy Amdany, a political analyst explained that her opinions from numerous discussions had placed a target on her back.

    “Women are afraid of putting their voice out there because they will be called names by those who hold different opinions," she told Kenyans.co.ke on the phone.

    She encouraged women to practice being opinion leaders and with time, confidence would build up.

    Citizen TV news anchor Victoria Rubadiri stated that in her opinion, the media was generally skewed towards content that favoured male consumption. 

    However, she noted that the advent of social media has changed how news is consumed, giving preferences to audience-driven content. 

    Political Analyst Daisy Amdany speaking at a past event
    Political Analyst Daisy Amdany speaking at a past event
    File