By Elias Hakizimana
The Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion (MIGEPROF) has requested local media practitioners to use their professionalism in promoting Gender equality and complementarity in the family as the latter is not yet enough understood by many citizens.
The call was made on January 12, 2018 in Kigali by the Minister of Gender and family Promotion, Esperance Nyirasafari during a working dinner on Gender responsive media, which convened government officials, local media directors and chief editors.
Nyirasafari tasked media practitioners to first understand the concept of Gender equality before explaining and covering stories related to this concept on field (among communities).
“There is still a long journey for people to understand what gender equality is, and what it means for the country’s development. We recommend you to first understand it and know its objectives before writing articles in this regard,” Nyirasafari said.
Citing some of many services established to help address issues of gender based violence like the ‘One Stop Center’ in each district; the Minister said media contribution is key to mobilising citizens for the optimisation of such services.
“We have various services to help women and girls who were raped, like protect them against sexual transmitted diseases and helping them to avoid unwanted pregnancies,” she pointed out.
The minister also recommended media owners to build capacity for female journalists especially in covering sensitive issues which are usually tasked to men only.
The women leaders in local media houses only account for 5 percent of the ownership, while in the parliament, they take up about 64 percent, which represents a big gap to be filled in the media.
According to Emmanuel Mugisha, the Executive Secretary of Rwanda Media Commission, gender equality in media houses is still low and the challenge still is the empowerment of women in media which is lacking.
“The challenge is, however much we empowered our women, they fear themselves and there is a need to develop strategies to up-lift women’s voice in media,” Mugisha said.
“It is a prejudice to think that males can go upcountry to cover articles which women can’t, it is all about empowerment and we are trying to discourage such [gender related] issue in our society,” he added.
Elias Hakizimana @theinspirerpubl