In an effort to balance representation of women in news and positions of management in news organizations, 92 female journalists from nine African countries including Uganda have been chosen to undergo a career boost training under a nine months Leadership Accelerator program.
The program organized by Women In News, WAN-IFRA and funded by Sweden equips the journalists with skills to rise up to leadership positions in their media organizations.
The 2021 program which is being carried out virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic, was launched on March 12, 2021.
11 of the beneficiaries are from different media houses in Uganda while the rest are from Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The program is aimed at promoting gender equality in news content and helping female journalists accelerate into leadership positions at media organizations.
Melanie Walker – Women In News, WAN-IFRA Executive Director noted that despite making more than half the global population, women are on average cited as expert sources, appear in bylines, or are featured as subjects in the news just over 25% of the time.
Walker noted that there is imbalance in representation of women in management levels within the media.
She further noted that the media is uniquely placed to influence positive change because it is the lens through which society sees itself reflected.
“If women are excluded from the editorial and management decisions around what stories are written or broadcast, the media are contributing to the problem rather than being part of the solution,” She said.
Asa Perhson, the Swedish Ambassador to Zimbabwe while speaking at the launch said that everyone has a responsibility to stand up for gender equality and democratic values in order to counter shrinking democratic spaces and authoritarian tendencies across the globe.