Harare - The (GMC) is roping in community newspapers and radio in the quest for improved societal relations and better representation of women in the media space, TellZim News can reveal.
GMC, formerly called the Federation of African Media Women of Zimbabwe (FAMWZ) says it acknowledges the critical role that community media can play in reversing deep-rooted attitudes that perpetuate patriarchy at local level.
"The media have the capacity to amplify the message of equality; beginning at their own space within the workplace and going into communities as agents of social change," said the organisation's Mahara Goteka.
He was speaking in Harare at a workshop for journalists and other stakeholders from community newspapers and radio stations around the country.
He said the country's media environment was characterised by the underrepresentation and misrepresentation of women issues in the production of news.
"That can change if the media put their minds to it. Transformation has to begin with gender mainstreaming in the newsroom and expanded into the way journalists do their sourcing. The idea is to have as many female voices as possible in the stories we read, listen to and watch," he said.
The workshop was also graced by Mercy Kappen, who is the Executive Director at Visthar Academy of Justice and Peace in the Indian city of Bangalore.
Kappen travelled to Zimbabwe to facilitate in a series of workshops on gender and the media.
"The experiences of women in Zimbabwe are the experiences of women elsewhere in the world; constrained by biases that have always favoured men, and restricted by cultural-driven imbalances that can evened by the sustained efforts of the media," said Kappen.
She also called for the dismantling of barriers that obstruct the progression of the girl child in the media industry, saying females must be accorded greater roles at both production and consumption levels of the value chain.
"The strategic goal is to transform the structural imbalances in the media industry by giving more opportunities to women so that they can partake in media ownership and control," she added.
Meanwhile GMC is engaging stakeholders from the bigger national media as well as other interested groups in civil society to explore ways of attaining gender balance in the media and the communities they serve.news