UNITED Nations Entity for Gender Equality-UN Women and its partners have launched the 2021 Gender Journalism challenge for East and Southern African journalists and bloggers that aim to promote gender-sensitive reporting in the region.
UN Women Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Moez Doraid said the agency is implementing a series of Generation Equality activities in the region, engaging with governments, feminist movements, civil society, the media, youth, and other actors to accelerate gains in gender equality.
“In Tanzania and Malawi, we are supporting the work of feminist movements, but looking at the whole ecosystem, to bring and make all actions more visible and influence concrete commitments to gender equality. One of our activities is the Regional Gender Journalism Awards,” he said.
The competition is open to all practicing journalists but, the primary target audience for the Awards are young reporters below the age of 35. The organizers believe it’s in the spirit of the Generation Equality campaign that is working to promote gender equality ideas by the youth.
A total of 15 prizes will be awarded in November this year, in recognition of excellence in promoting the rights of women and girls, and in-depth coverage of the work by advocates pushing the gender equality and women empowerment agenda.
A statement released shortly after the announcement said journalists are expected to frame their stories in line with the five categories on: Women’s Rights Activism and Leadership; Protection of Civic Space for Feminist Action and Movement Building; Intergenerational Partnerships for Consensus Building and Succession; Feminist Movements and Financing for a Gender Equal Future; and Technology and Innovation for Gender Equality.
Malawi’s Minister of Gender, Patricia Kaliati said at the meeting, the need for the media to foster stronger partnerships in gender advocacy with the Feminist Movements has a great potential to yield game changer results. “These results can stir a major shift in narratives and framing and packaging of news articles through a well-informed gender-lens,” she said.
Mboni Mgaza, the Director for Gender in the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elders and Children emphasized the need to motivate and encourage Journalists through initiatives such as the Media Awards innovation, alongside pooling “our resources for development of their news reporting capacity and a shift to gender-responsive news reporting”.
The challenge is being backed by the UN Women Tanzania, UN Women Malawi, the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), the African Women Leaders’ Network (Tanzania and Malawi Chapters), the Tanzania Media Women Association (TAMWA), the Association of Women in Media (Malawi), and the MISA Chapters in Tanzania and Malawi.