Media houses urged to draft gender policy

Mlondolozi Ndlovu
Zimbabwean media houses and media related civil society organisations have been encouraged to have gender policies that will help empower female journalists.

Speaking at a Federation of African Media Women in Zimbabwe (FAMWZ) Gender training of trainers workshop, Indian based human rights activist Mercy Kappen urged media houses to ensure equal representation of females to their male counter parts.

Kappen who is the Director of Visthar an organisation in India further encouraged the media to lead by example in the fight against the inherent gender stereotypes that are evident in the society saying it can help fight these evils.

‘We believe the media is as well responsible for perpetuating the same stereotypes hence we urge the bearer to formulate gender polices at workplaces to address such. The media itself is laden with gender disparities that require immediate attention’ she said.

She further stressed that the media like all the social institutions which include the church, the family and education are a very powerful tool through which gender imbalances are created and as such need t incorporated in the fight against male domination.

‘The broadcasting media fights adverts that reduce women from being subjects to being objects while the print media reinforces patriarchy. The media is fundamental in pursuit to address issues of gender stereotypes that are perpetuated by society’ she said emphasizing on the need for behaviour change in ensuring gender equity and equality.

Speaking at the same workshop Abgail Gamanya who is with FAMWZ said currently there is no media policy in Zimbabwe’s mainstream and community media houses.

The workshop was facilitated by Young Africa International Programme Officer Mahara Goteka.
Present at the training were 20 representatives of media houses and civil society organisations who were taught on how to facilitate workshops that have to do with gender in efforts to change attitudes.

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