The National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) convened a High-Level Roundtable, geared towards enhancing gender-responsive reporting during the August 2022 campaigns and general elections.
The event seeks to promote gender equality and freedom from all forms of discrimination in Kenya, especially for special interest groups by ensuring compliance with policies, laws, and practice
The juxtaposition of both traditional legacy media and online media is noted to have a huge influence on our perceptions and ideas about the role of girls and women in society and gender mainstreaming.
Joyce Mutinda, Chairperson of the National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) during the event indicated that women are frequently portrayed in stereotypical and hyper-sexualized roles in advertising and the film industry, which has proven to have long-term social consequences as the portrayal of sexism is adverse.
|Joyce Mutinda Chairperson, NGEC|
Judie Kaberia, Executive Director, Association of Media Women in Kenya (AMWIK) however called for media houses and practitioners to look at women as victors and resilient, and portray them as such citing that most women are portrayed as victims in any story or setting.
She also noted that journalists writing women’s topics face intense backlash Over the years, concerns on media and gender issues have varied from, Violence against female media workers, this includes sexual harassment, Lack of dedicated gender policies in media houses, fat most cases none of the women occupying top positions in the media, and assigning of roles, especially for election reporting to the men.
It has been noted with high concerns that in both urban and rural areas, women and girls are even more susceptible during an election period in any country or state.
Dr. Mutinda commended media houses that have been part of the journey to accord women coverage that’s impartial and free of stereotypes.
“I commend Nation Media Group and Standard Group for setting up gender desks and employing specialists to cover gender issues. Others are following closely,” she said.
The Media Council of Kenya’s Code of Conduct for the Practice of Journalism in Kenya calls for Nondiscrimination stating that women and men shall be treated equally as news sources and news
As Quinter emphasized the sensitization and the tremendous influence media and media houses carry when it comes to understanding and spreading of information. Hence urged a need that the public institutions to create a rapport with and within the media to assist emphasize the creation of awareness that will be of help in eliminating stereotypes.
She also called upon media houses without gender policies to liaise with the NGEC to put the policies in place.
“Gender mainstreaming should start with and within the media and for Gender Mainstreaming to be realized, we as the media have a special role to play. Vibrant reporting sets the context and environment for gender mainstreaming,” Churchill Otieno, President, Kenya
|Churchill Otieno CEO Guild|
Gender Mainstreaming is a globally accepted strategy for promoting gender equality as it entails ensuring that gender perspectives and attention to the goal of gender equality are central to all activities.
Less than 30% of women are in political reporting due to sexual harassment of reporters and leaders as well on social media platforms.
This is an adverse issue that the UN-WOMEN,
GUILD, and NGEC called for more partnerships in engaging in training for everyone who has the ability to access and spread information on social media, commencing with practitioners.
Kenya turns out to be the leading country in Africa, with sexual harassment cases. Makes this requires the media and every involved stakeholder to hold those responsible accountable for their actions.
“Where gender rights are violated, we have a duty as media to hold those responsible accountable. The teaching of gender in media schools also needs to be enhanced to ensure that graduates getting into the market are not gender blind,” Churchill Otieno, President, Kenya Editors’ Guild.