The Swedish embassy in Harare, Magamba Network and Gender Media Connect (GMC) have partnered Wikimedia, in an initiative to profile prominent role models and influential Zimbabwean females to address unequal gender balance on the internet.
BY Tafadzwa Mutacha
Speaking on the sidelines of a joint Wiki-initiative programme in Harare, GMC director, Abigail Gamanya, said the initiative was meant to empower women in various sectors of the society and for them to engage with the media in their fight for women’s rights, representation and resources.
“This initiative is in line with Gender Media Connects’ mission to empower women in various sectors of society to engage with the media. Increasing the voices and representation of women in both online and offline media is critical at this moment as women in Zimbabwe have been left out for far too long,” she said.
Gamanya acknowledged that some women still had a phobia of the media and there was need to increase online participation and presence of women as a way of creating a more gender-equal internet.
“The purpose of this initiative is also to increase online participation and presence of women as a way of creating a more gender-equal internet and a more gender equal world in various sectors of the society.
“There is gender imbalance on the internet and there is a huge task to increase women’s presence and participation online as a way of strengthening women’s rights, representation and resources,” she said.
The initiative is part of Sweden’s feminist foreign policy whose ambition is to strengthen women’s rights, representation and resources.
Participants across the globe will add content to Wikipedia by writing new articles and editing existing ones with information on women profiles, experts and role models in different fields. The Zimbabwe edition of the #WikiGap edit-a-thon will contribute to a more gender-equal internet by increasing the number Zimbabwean female Wikipedia editors and by increasing the number of Zimbabwean women represented online.
GMC has called on the Zimbabwean media to prioritise the inclusion of women in its coverage of socio-economic and political issues.