Female journalists participating at a Gender and Media Connect ‘Candid Talk’ session held in Kwekwe on Friday have bemoaned sexual harassment and discrimination in the newsroom, saying this was forcing them to leave the ‘noble profession’ that they trained for to pursue other sources of revenue generation.
Freelance writer Sheron Tazvivinga said that it was saddening that media houses are being bloated by males as women writers were now shunning them in fear of being discriminated against.
“Sexual harassment in the newsroom is real,” she said.
“Most of the women really feel that some of the conditions within the newsroom are more favourable to those of the other sex and instead of reporting their ordeals, the female journalists end up leaving their jobs to pursue other professions. This is sad and something has to be done,” said Tazvivinga.
On the other hand, publishers have implored on the Gender Media Connect to engage them in the pursuit of addressing gender imbalances in the newsroom.
Tonderai Marindire, publisher of the regional Jekeso newspaper said:
“I believe that there is need for media entrepreneurs and publishers to be engaged especially if the fight against gender imbalances in the newsroom is expected to see the light of the day. As publishers, we have noted that discriminating against females has the potent of producing poor copies and in this regard, the fight against the existing imbalances is a noble cause”.
Speaking during the same occasion, legal practitioner, Lina Nyamukachi (above) said gender disparities exist not only in the media industry but was predominant across all sectors.
Seasoned journalist and Gender Media Connect representative, Chipo Gudhe said there was need for more awareness initiatives to be conducted in a bid to arrest the imbalances as most newsrooms were being dominated by males.
“We now have what I may call brotherhoods in the newsrooms and its quite agonizing. I think there’s need for the prioritisation of women involvement in the affairs of the media and we really need our publishers to be gender sensitive when they go about recruitment processes,” she said.
According to citizen journalist Hazel Manda-James (pictured above):
“What you (male journalists) do, we can do better. So, the ongoing discrimination has to come to an end. We are sick and tired of stories to do with gender discrimination- we are sick and tired of being sick and tired”.