Women’s Month in South Africa raises many pertinent issues from gender-based violence, empowerment and whether women are represented fairly in all spheres of society. This year was no different with #TotalShutdown marches taking place across the country on 1 August where women from all walks of life took to the streets to make their collective voice heard. This began a month that would lead to significant conversations about how South African society treats and protects women. Africa’s forward-thinking Brand Intelligence® firm, Ornico, took to investigating conversations on various media platforms, including social media, to make sense how the nation responded.

Women's Month Media Narratives in 2018
Women’s Month Media Narratives in 2018

Media research and analysis shows over 1 800 media mentions of Women’s Month from print, broadcast and online sources, which includes mentions of various events and related conversations. Social media, with Twitter as the primary and most vocal platform, took the lead in the number of conversations analysed. The mentions of Women’s Month and topics relating to Women’s Day were just over 90 000 in total.  Women’s Day takes the lead with the most mentions on a single day throughout the month.

Print, broadcast and online platforms show more contribution and interactions by government and political parties, with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address on Women’s Day generating most of the positive coverage. In fact, the president topped the rankings among key voices throughout the month featuring in 12% of overall coverage followed by Minister of The Presidency for Women, Bathabile Dlamini with 2%. Media focus, as well as speeches from government, spoke mostly to issues of gender-based violence and the abuse of women.

Business also came to the fore with both brands and individuals talking to empowerment in tandem with creating an equitable society within which women feel safe and where they can develop professionally. Influential women such as Philisiwe Mthethwa of the National Empowerment Fund, Ntombi Mhangwani of Accenture, Basani Maluleke of African Bank, Nunu Ntshingila of Facebook and Tamiko Cuellar of Pursue Your Purpose spoke to matters of business. They were featured in various media talking about the role of women in business, as well as the empowerment of these women and some of the challenges they face in boardrooms.

Social media conversations, on the other hand, show a different picture on who some of the influencers and vocal individuals are. Helen Zille appears among the top three influencers where she shared a story about women in blockchain. We also see Former Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela making an appearance in the top six list of influencers with her tweet about an address that was given earlier in the day. We also see increased mentions of Rhodes University Student, Khensani Maseko, who was laid to rest following an outpouring of support from the nation.

The detailed report by Ornico also shows that some brands also engaged on issues affecting women from banks, retail to the automotive sector. It also features some of the top journalists who added their voices among the thought leaders during the month.

Please fill the form below to download the full report and see some of the findings: