via Female journalists abused – ZUJ from Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
WOMEN journalists live in constant danger of being sexually manipulated and subjected to gender-based abuse from the learning institutions right up to the various newsrooms in the country throughout their career, a professional and labour body Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) has revealed.
Foster Dongozi, a veteran male journalist and the ZUJ Secretary General made the startling remarks, while presenting on the topic, “Safety, Security and working conditions of media practitioners” at the Annual Media Stakeholders’ Conference organized by the Media Alliance of Zimbabwe (MAZ) held in Harare on September 4, 2013.
“In line with the working environment, the issue of sexual harassment is the big elephant in the room that we don’t want to talk about,” he said. “But the debates that we have held across the country have indicated that from university the female journalism students are abused in exchange for higher marks by lecturers.
“It does not end there, when they go to the news room they are abused and harassed by colleagues and senior people in the newsroom and also subjected to sex for in return for better recommendation, or something like that.”
Dongozi further claimed that the problem was not being perpetrated by lecturers and bosses alone but implicated news sources from different sectors of society as being part of the culprits in this abominable usage.
“And it gets even worse because even the news sources, very respectable men and women that we did not expect to do such things end up stalking them as well,” Dongozi said. “But obviously following our interventions the cases have reduced because we are talking about them and we are naming and shaming the culprits.
“So some people while you mention it, they will think that you are talking about them so they will quickly stop whatever they are doing which is a plus for us.”