Film turned into weapon against GBV

BY SHARON SIBINDI

IBHAYISIKOPO Film Project in Bulawayo has partnered Hivos to embark on a campaign that seeks to improve women’s access to, and participation in, the media, film and television industry.
The initiative also seeks to build their capacity to fight gender-based violence (GBV) through offering a media reporting manual and an increased level of digital participation.

Priscilla Sithole Ncube (pictured) of Ibhayisikopo Film Project told NewsDay Life & Style that the GBV digital reporting manual will be used to address the barriers that restrict the influence of women doers and change makers in film and the media.

“This project aims to contribute towards the fight against gender-based violence and toxic masculinity in Zimbabwe’s socio-political landscape. The strategy to achieve this will involve working with the media houses, the public, government institutions, tertiary institutions and arts organisations so as to create and implement a solution,” she said.

“The project will further provide a women-friendly capacity-building environment, dominated by women during the implementation project.”

The development, Ncube said, entailed the provision of the necessary skills and networks for women in media and film so that they can share knowledge.

“The GBV digital reporting manual will also be a rallying point for women’s advocacy initiatives and help women in the media to self-organise against gender inequality, sexual harassment, gender-based violence and women’s lack of access to economic empowerment,” she said.

Ncube said 10 women frontrunners from various sectors including universities and civil society organisations will be selected to contribute towards the collation of the manual.

“GBV in the media includes stereotypes, gender insensitive reporting, exclusion of women and homophobia. The project is in view of the use of digital media as a path to capacitate women in social and political advocacy,” she said.

Ncube said the victimisation of women directly involved in the media included labelling and stereotyping, to the detriment of female change makers in the country’s media.

“Very often, when efforts are being made to liberate women from various obstacles hindering their total and full participation in the media, film and television, focus is frequently restricted towards obvious structures of violence like physical violence and sexual harassment,” she said.

“Very little effort is directed towards engaging structural violence and the masculinity of the space, its gender insensitivity and the fixation of opportunities to either males or a few women at the benevolence of males.”

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