BUJUMBURA November 7th (ABP) – The National Media Council (CNC) in partnership with the Association of Women Journalists (AFJO) presented to officials of different media outlets, in the Press House of Bujumbura on Wednesday November 6, 2019, the quarterly media monitoring report incorporating the gender dimension.
That activity was intended to awaken participants’ awareness of the current level of gender dimension both in the journalist population and in decision-making positions in media organizations and in media content.
According to CNC Chair Nestor Bankumukunzi, the gender dimension is a global concept to be respected. That debate initiated by the AFJO is commendable, because nothing is being done and nothing is being created, he said, inviting media officials to take it into account in the organization of work.
The media is called upon to produce gender-sensitive information and programs. For him, journalists must give the floor to women because the word is the basis of all rights.
Participants discussed the cultural barriers that make women still reluctant to be resource persons. You have to go slow while knowing that you have to know how to approach a source in a field that interests her, the CNC chairman said, noting that women speak very well if given the opportunity. It is up to journalists to know how to direct their questions and approach women. Men are often spontaneous but they are not always the right source, he added. Mr. Bankumukunzi asked the media to incorporate that concern into the editorial conferences, including the orientation of the sources of information. He recommended that the AFJO should approach the founders of the media outlets to raise their awareness of that concept.
According to the chairperson of the AFJO, Mrs. Diane Ndonse, this association intends to encourage journalists and media that have shown in their productions, more sensitivity on gender. In fact, the AFJO plans to award, in December, prizes to the media that will stand out in their work. Speaking of the representation of women in the media world, she pointed out that according to the 2018 data, women are less than 30% represented in the journalistic population and occupy less than 10% of decision-making positions in the media outlets.
Comments on the state of affairs of gender dimension, commitments and proposals for moving forward were made in the sense of integrating gender aspects into journalistic work and in order to respond to that appeal from the CNC and the AFJO. Participants understood that if the will is there, everything is possible.