New project to rally women journalists

Female journalists in the country have decried the persistent small number of practitioners of their sex, despite the big number of them who graduate in media studies every year.
A female Rwanda TV journalist interviews a source. The New Times/ File.
A female Rwanda TV journalist interviews a source. The New Times/ File.

Female journalists in the country have decried the persistent small number of practitioners of their sex, despite the big number of them who graduate in media studies every year.

The scribes were, on Thursday, launching a two-year project to promote the voice of women in the Great Lakes region.

“Many girls study journalism, but they don’t practice it. Those who do  should try and influence editorial policies so that gender-sensitive stories can also make headlines,” Faith Mbabazi, the president of Arfem, an association that brings together female journalists in the country, said.

She said the aim of the project is to increase the diversity within the media sector in the Great Lakes region, and particularly, to reinforce women’s involvement in journalism.

The project, which is worth $45,000 (about Rwf28m) funded by Search for Common Ground, an international NGO in partnership with Arfem, will increase the public’s access to quality, gender-sensitive media programmes.

Mbabazi urged more women to join the media fraternity.

Rebecca Besant, the regional director of Search for Common Ground, said they will be working with Arfem and other regional associations to reinforce the diversity of voices, particularly of women in the media.

“This will provide an opportunity for women journalists to share experiences on how to increase capacity to address women’s rights such as inheritance, gender violence and political participation. We need to incorporate women’s voices in the planning, production and reporting,” she said.

Besant said the project will be implemented in Burundi, DR Congo and Rwanda.

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