Women in media call for more recognition

The Federation of African Media Women in Zimbabwe (FAMWZ) says there is lack of gender sensitivity in Zimbabwean media.

FAMWZ said female media practitioners continued to be trampled upon, with very few women to date having managed to get into the higher echelons in the media fraternity.

“The proportion of female-to-male journalists in the newsrooms the world over, especially in most African countries, has remained unbalanced in terms of both numbers and positions,” FAMWZ said in a statement.

“Research carried out by the Southern Africa Research and Documentation Centre in
2000 throughout Africa shows that women are seldom found in top media jobs.”

FAMWZ said the gaping gender imbalance also posed serious barriers to women’s access to information and freedom of expression in the media as they had no input in editorial and managerial issues.

“Gender issues in the media reflect the structural set-up in the newsrooms, the general content, the commercial aspect and the general politics of the media. These issues contribute to the lack of gender sensitivity in the media, the absence of women’s voices, the negative portrayal of women in the media, as well as lack of access to the media by women,” FAMWZ said.

FAMWZ said the invisibility of women in the media was also exacerbated by other factors such as lack of the requisite training and experience by females in crucial beats such as politics, economics, agriculture and others.

“Women’s access to media power continues to be hindered by invisible barriers such as attitudes, conditions of work and work assignments that impede on the career development of women,” the organisation said.

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