African journalists call for women's empowerment in newsroom

15 Oct 2016 09:20am
By Mulisa Simiyasa

JOHANNESBURG, 15 OCT (NAMPA) – Journalists from across Africa on Friday held a forum to discuss matters of leadership in newsrooms and women’s issues affecting them.
Over 100 African journalists and media trained specialists gathered in Johannesburg, South Africa to discuss and analyse whether women holding top positions represent real issues affecting women at workplaces.
The event was jointly sponsored and hosted by the Cable News Network (CNN) and video entertainment company MultiChoice.
Most of the journalists are in Johannesburg to take part in the prestigious 2016 CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards (AJA) on Saturday.
The media forum also discussed topics on men in the media industry and whether they use their voice in the positions of power they occupy.
Participants expressed various perspectives, bringing in aspects of how a girl and boy child are brought up by their families; and which child must be submissive, speak on societal topics in public and who must carry out soft tasks.
A woman broadcast journalist from Capital FM in Kenya, Renee Ngamau said it is a shame that some men expect women to exchange sex with those in charge of media organisations for positions.
“Men still ask female journalists to tell them what we will bring to the leadership structure, yet a male journalist is not asked the same question,” Ngamau said.
The editor of the Swazi Observer in Swaziland, Alec Lushabe said senior positions in newsrooms and other organisations should not have boundaries because women go on maternity leave and men do not, but should rather concentrate on competency, confidence and capability to execute core values of the job.
In conclusion, the forum called on women in leadership positions across all sectors in Africa to see to it that they hold such seats and make their voices heard on issues affecting them.
The discussions were chaired by Eleni Giokos, a CNN African Correspondent based in Johannesburg.