‘Policy review promotes gender inclusivity’

Source: ‘Policy review promotes gender inclusivity’ –Newsday Zimbabwe

Women In News deputy executive director Vincent Kahiya

The Gender and Media Connect (GMC) has stepped up efforts to effectively move towards promoting inclusivity and equality in the media industry through its revised 2024 media policy.

The organisation has updated its media policy to foster diversity in the newsroom, which had originally been created in 2022.

Recent reports have noted an increase in incidents of inequality and sexual harassment in the newsrooms in Zimbabwe.

The GMC policy aims to redefine decision-making processes, ensuring that all voices are heard and valued, ultimately leading to a more diverse and inclusive media landscape.

Speaking during the launch of the GMC revised gender policy 2024, Zimbabwe Gender Commission chief executive Virginia Muwanigwa said the framework would provide accountability and gender equality principles across all sectors of the organisation.

“This policy seeks to ensure greater consistency of gender equality (equity) principles, policies and practices across the organisation and to provide an accountability framework against which all staff are accountable and against which Gender and Media Connect will audit itself,” she said

“The constitutional dictates are clear as far as gender equality is concerned. Section 3 recognises gender equality and diversity; section 17 provides that the State must promote gender balance to ensure women fully participate in all the various spheres of Zimbabwean society, section 56 under the Bill of Rights,” she said.

Muwanigwa urged media houses to adopt similar policies to combat issues like sexual harassment that undermine the rights and dignity of individuals.

She added: “We want this policy to ensure freedom of expression, whereby everyone can make decisions without looking at gender.”

Women In News deputy executive director Vincent Kahiya said the gender policy was revised to promote equality in the newsroom.

“So the policy will focus on creating harmonious working conditions for men and women to feel secure, respected and empowered in the newsrooms,” he said.

Kahiya said the policy would also help to curb sexual harassment in newsrooms.

“This policy will enable gender balance in the newsrooms, and it is necessary in the event that someone has had to deal with sexual harassment and needs to report and there is a human resources section that only has men or only has women,” he said.