The Association of Rwandan Female Journalists (Arfem), over the weekend, elected new leaders to run the association for the next three year.
The newly elected executive committee members include; Egidie Bibio Ingabire, Director of Radio Rwanda Inteko (president); Doreen Umutesi, journalist with The New Times Publication Rwanda (vice president); Aisha-Bonaventure Rutayisire (re-elected as the secretary); and Aphosine Yankurije (treasurer).
Christine Uwizeye and Cecile Nyirahavugimana were elected as advisors while Anne Marie Niwemwiza, Rachel Mukandayisenga and Genevieve Ndayishimye were elected as financial controllers.
Ingabire promised to work with the other committee members to help promote female journalism in the country.
She said she will put more emphasis on increasing the number of female journalists which is still low and assessing the input of those already practising.
Faith Mbabazi, the outgoing president of the association, said she had confidence in the new committee.
“They are committed and have the potential to bring about change,” she said.
She said the association carried out research at the beginning of the year entitled; “The Barrier Analysis to Women’s Inclusion in Rwandan Media”, which showed a number of issues affecting female journalists, including low self-confidence, bias and stereotype against women journalists.
The research recommended, among other things, increasing the capacity of the association and sensitising media managers about the importance of gender diversity and its impact on society.
However, the association faces budgetary constraints, it emerged.
The association comprises about 60 members and has existed since 1995 though it was registered only in 2010.