Senate President, Dr Vincent Biruta, yesterday said that the government will embark on supporting women in the media as away of advancing gender in the profession.
Biruta made the remarks while officially opening the first global summit on media and gender in Africa, where media practitioners are meeting to assess Africa’s progress in mainstreaming gender in the media and enhancing the equality of women in the profession.
The three-day conference is organised by the International Federation of Journalist (IFJ) under the theme “Empowering African women journalists; stepping up to the challenges of gender equality.”
“Rwanda has done a lot in ensuring gender equality in various areas; 51 percent in parliament are women,” the speaker said.
Women constitute 29 percent of practising journalists in the country which remains below the minimum 30 percent quota government set for women representation in all institutions.
Biruta acknowledged that having few women journalists is a problem hence the need to critically examine the reasons behind this so as to come up with a solution.
“This is a challenge that Rwanda faces and we need to find solutions. We need to ask questions like; how are women gender issue covered. Are they well trained?” Biruta said.
He pointed out that African media houses should recruit more women editors to run newspapers and other broadcasting houses.
The IFJ President, Jim Boumelha, noted that women journalists should be considered as competent players, adding they should not, in any way, be segregated.
“Women must be represented in all leadership positions and they should not be segregated and overworked because some of them have families to look after,” he said.
During the forum, participants are expected to hold discussions on the needs and conditions that should be put in place to enhance gender equality.