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Govt Commends WIN Media Support

GOVERNMENT has commended the efforts by Women in News (WIN) to develop and promote women leadership in the media. Speaking on Friday when the delegation from WIN led by WAN-IFRA WIN deputy executive director Africa region Jane Godia called on her, Ms Kasanda said even as her government continues to promote the free press, upskilling of skills for women in the media is cardinal for a vibrant media. “As the Government, we don’t want to suppress the media. We want them to come out and report objectively,” she said. She said when United Party for National Development (UPND) was in the opposition, the media were not allowed to cover it and if they did, they found themselves in trouble with the government. “We saw media houses being closed and one of them is Prime Television. We also saw some newspapers being closed,” Ms Kasanda said. She said another priority by Government is to accord the media an opportunity to cover women. “Our voices as women are not heard, we are suppressed as women in the media,” she said. She said the recent research findings by WIN that over 51 percent of journalists in Zambia have experienced sexual harrassment (SH) is an embarrassment. “I believe that is not something that we are happy about as a country and it is something that we would like to work with you very closely to bring this to a stop. We cannot take pleasure in women being sexually harassed. We want to have a playing field that is fair to all of us,” she said. She said it was unfortunate that women continue getting the negative criticisms as they are portrayed negatively in the media. She has called on WIN to closely collaborate with Government and see how best they can positively portray women in the media. “We would like to thank you for what you are doing. Let’s see how best we can work together so that people are able to see what we can do as women,” she said. Mrs Kasanda called on the women to stand in for each other. Ms Godia applauded the Minister for speaking to what WIN stands for. She said since WIN started training the women in media in Zambia in 2010, over 60 people have been trained in leadership, media management, strategic management, gender, media development, digital media among others by WIN. She said currently, WIN has the accelerator programme going on for added skills to the participants. “ Zambia Daily Mail has the largest number of women on the advanced leadership accelerator programme,” she said. Ms Godia said WIN recently did a leadership mapping last year where Zambia matched tops out of the 17 markets that WIN targeted. “ We realised that Zambia was at 57 percent of women who are chief executive officers, business leads in media organisations. However, when we went to the editorial side, the number spikes down and it was at 30 percent,” Ms Godia said. She said WIN is proud that Zambia Daily Mail has a woman acting as managing editor but that there was need to have more. “ We don’t want to lose that number. We want more women, we hope others could rise to that position,” she said. WIN manager, accelerator and alumna Caroline Phiri Kabwika said the six-month intensive capacity-building course is allowing journalists to upskill in financial management. “ There are so many other courses that WIN is offering. We also encourage the women to mentor each other to allow for transfer of skills,” Ms Kabwika said. WIN coach Tamala Chirwa said coaching changes a lot of people as they are able to crystallise what they seek for their desired future careers. Ms Chirwa said the WIN participants are also encouraged to have the person to challenge them to make their own decisions.

Source : Daily-mail