The Media High Council of Rwanda (MHC) and WAN-IFRA have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which will see the two organisations working together in gender capacity building for media houses in Rwanda.
The Media High Council of Rwanda (MHC), an independent constitutional body responsible for capacity building in the media sector, is charged with the responsibility of ensuring high quality content, responsibility and professionalism in Rwanda’s media sector.
Besides championing media capacity building, MHC is also encouraged to form partnerships, collaborate and co-operate with other national, regional and international institutions in a bid to mobilize technical and financial resources to enable it to initiate, implement strategies to help develop the media secto
As a result of these mandates, and following months of various discussions, the two organisations have agreed to work together in the advancement of gender mainstreaming for media in Rwanda. During the partnership discussions, it was agreed that WAN-IFRA could provide technical expertise while the MHC will mobilise the media in Rwanda.
The key essence of the MoU is to develop interventions in order to address gender gaps that were highlighted in a gender audit conducted by the MHC. The issues identified by the audit are similar to those that WAN-IFRA is trying to address, hence the decision to work together. In all this, the gender policy, which was cited as one of the gaps in the audit remains a key document for media houses.
Speaking at the signing of the MoU Executive Secretary for the MHC Mr. Peacemaker Mbungiramihigo stated, “I appreciate the signing of the MoU between WAN-IFRA and the MHC. This will help both institutions work closely together in developing Rwanda’s media sector and enhance the profession.” He added that mainstreaming gender in the media sector is fundamental and in line with the overall national strategy, which is based on making sure that no one is left behind.
“We want a conducive environment in terms of opportunities for both men and women and the partnership with WIN will help us achieve the milestones we have set, “ he concluded.
Africa Director for the Women In News programme Dr. Tikhala Chibwana said the MoU marked the opening of a new chapter as both organisations work together to ensure that media houses in Rwanda are cognisant of the importance of gender mainstreaming in all their work. “Together we are stronger and with knowledge and expertise from both organisations, Rwanda’s media sector is set to benefit. As WIN, we look forward to cooperation and seeing the media sector in Rwanda practising quality, responsible journalism now and in the future,” he said.
WAN-IFRA has been carrying out capacity building with women journalists from Rwanda through its Women In News (WIN) programme since 2015. Advocacy work aimed at ensuring media houses are sensitized about gender as they carry out their day-to-day operations has also been conducted.
The advocacy component of the WIN program seeks to engage media houses to help them mainstream gender in their content, human resource practices and to create an environment for equal opportunity for both men and women in the media.