Empowering women in media should be priority - FAJ

Discrimination of women journalists in Rwanda, African and the world still exists and should be done away with. The president of Federation of African Journalist (FAJ), Omar Faruk Osman, over the weekend pointed out that discrimination continues to undermine women’s role in society.
 (L-R)Patrice Mulama of MHC, Cabinet Affairs minister Protais Musoni, Safari Gaspard of RJA and Omar Faruk Osman president of FAJ during the meeting. The New Times File photo
(L-R)Patrice Mulama of MHC, Cabinet Affairs minister Protais Musoni, Safari Gaspard of RJA and Omar Faruk Osman president of FAJ during the meeting. The New Times File photo

Discrimination of women journalists in Rwanda, African and the world still exists and should be done away with.

The president of Federation of African Journalist (FAJ), Omar Faruk Osman, over the weekend pointed out that discrimination continues to undermine women’s role in society.

“Discrimination of women is still a problem in Africa. Women are underpaid, under-valued, and they normally denied training opportunities,” Osman said during the conference held in Kigali.

He noted that unless women are considered as potential and influential people who play important roles in social, economic and political arena, the profession would not develop, adding that women empowerment should be prioritised.

The acting director of Radio Rwanda and the chairperson of the Association of Rwandan Women in the Media (ARFEM), Faith Mbabazi, emphasized that women should be  given equal opportunities.

 “We should be given equal opportunities like men, we need job security. Editors should treat women journalists equally as men because we are capable,” Mbabazi said.

A female journalist from Liberia, Torwon Sulonteh Brown, disclosed to The New Times that news editors always have biases against female journalists, alleging that they are lazy.

“We are taken as lazy people naturally; for example, there are areas where an editor will assign men because they think women cannot manage especially in parliament and presidential news conferences…this is not right. We are all professionals and should be given equal opportunities,” she said.

“Sometimes we face the problem of sexual harassment. An editor will want to make sexual advances before assigning stories in good areas. This not only in my country, it’s everywhere. How will the profession develop if we still have such challenges?” she asked.

Flora Kaitesi, a Rwanda journalist believes that discrimination is at times motivated by women, who occasionally fail to assert themselves.

 “Women should speak up against discrimination and men should learn to accept that women journalists are equally capable of doing what men can do,” Kaitesi said.

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