GOVERNMENT has put in place measures to promote gender equality in all sectors which is seen as a key to attainment of an upper middle class society by 2030, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Speaking at the Launch of Women in News (WIN) Leadership Accelerator Alums, Zimbabwe Chapter media conference in Harare yesterday (Thursday), Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa, said gender equality in particular in the media sector is critical in achieving economic growth and development.
“Our current National Development Strategy (NDS1) which is steered by His Excellency, President Mnangagwa is aimed at realising Vision 2023, so that we achieve a prosperous upper middle class society by 2030. It also seeks to promote gender equality and participation of women as well as recognising women and gender mainstreaming as a critical element of achieving Vision 2030,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa added that the current media reforms have seen women in the media taking up leadership positions in media houses across the country.
“We believe the growth of the industry will offer opportunities for women. The Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services has been pushing for the recognition of women in the newsroom and we are pursuing media reforms which foster gender equality in the sector,” Minister Mutsvangwa added.
“Top leadership positions have largely remained male dominated. However, over the years we have introduced a raft of measures which has seen the appointment of three female journalists as heads of publications and broadcasting channels in the country.”
Minister Mutsvangwa also urged female journalists to report on issues that foster peace, unity and growth of the country.
She said journalists should seek to tell the true Zimbabwe story as the country heads towards the 2023 harmonised elections.
“This conference comes at a time when the country is heading towards the 2023 harmonised elections,” she added.
“We should learn to tell our own story and no one should tell our story for us. As journalists, let us strive to be factual, build this country and bring people together. We want a peaceful Zimbabwe, because where there is peace there is economic growth.”
Minister Mutsvangwa also urged media houses to ensure zero tolerance towards sexual harassment and come up with policies that create environments safe for female journalists.
“At this juncture, let me speak about the scourge of sexual harassment that continues to ravage our media institutions. I want to believe that it is currently the biggest challenge in terms of creating a hostile environment in the newsroom.
“We should deal with these issues because we need more women in leadership positions. As Government, we call upon all media organisations to ensure that there is zero tolerance towards sexual harassment and to develop sexual harassment policies that will provide procedures and guidelines to ensure nobody is made to feel safe in the environment.”
Women in News Deputy Executive Director and Director for Africa, Ms Jane Godia said the aim of the programme was to ensure that female journalists are equipped with skills that ensure their growth in the industry.
She said such platforms should create spaces to network and share ideas of the ever evolving media space.
“The aim of such programmes is to ensure women grow professionally by equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge,” she said.
The event was attended by female journalists from across the country.