Gender Gender

‘Be thought leaders, trendsetters’

THE media has been called upon to be thought leaders and trendsetters by directing morality in society in the manner they report on gender issues.
Non-Governmental Organisation Coordinating Council (NGOCC) executive director Engwase Mwale was speaking at the close of a two-day National Women in Politics Forum for news editors from various media houses in Siavonga over the weekend.
Mrs Mwale commended the participants for their commitment in finding common ground to enhance women participation in the August 11 elections and strategies that will go beyond 2016 with regard to women’s interaction with the media.
She was pleased that the forum came up with initiatives to make women more accessible to the media by welcoming and accommodating women from all walks of life.
“From the professional deliberations we have had, we were able to understand how to package gender stories so that they can make it on page one or as lead stories in the electronic media by making them news worthy,” she said.
Ms Mwale urged the media as important allies to lead as thought leaders in reversing the portrayal of women especially in politics in negative light. She said the media carries an important responsibility to reconstruct this negative perception of women in society that can be achieved through objective and ethical reporting and will be used as yardstick for the rest of the media fraternity.
Earlier, facilitator Bridget Kambobe read out a communiqué on the way forward for the media houses. Participants agreed to increase the number of women in leadership positions by highlighting positive issues through initiatives such as establishment of gender desks in media houses like the Zambia Daily Mail has done. Collaborate with NGOCC and other stakeholders to provide a platform for women to participate equitably.
Increase the platform by coming up with more programmes for women, address the fear factor experienced by women that has resulted in media space being dominated by men due to cultural practices, patriarchy and lack of resources.
As part of the 2013-2017 strategic plan, NGOCC is implementing the Coordinated Women In Politics Project to enhance women’s participation in politics.

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