As WAN-IFRA’s Digital Media Africa (DMA) Conference kicks off in Johannesburg, South Africa, Women in News (WIN) will host a panel to discuss a major issue in the news media industry: “Battling Sexual Harassment in the media”. The panel discussion will take place on 12 September.
Speakers will include: Jane Godia, Lead trainer on Sexual Harassment for WIN and its programme manager for East and Central Africa, Vincent Kahiya, Managing Consultant for Oxgn PR, COO of VPCG Corporate Communications, former group editor for Alpha Media in Zimbabwe and longtime WIN Steering Committee Member, as well as Qaanitah Hunter, an award-winning investigative journalist never shy of rattling a few feathers with her probing and digging.
According to Godia, there is a need to break the silence and stop pretending that harassment offline and online is not happening in the media or that somehow it will go away on its own without a decisive action by media managers.
Kahiya believes that there are real costs to sexual harassment not to just to the survivors but also the organization’s bottom line. “Organisations often leave it until too late to call for help when something has already gone wrong and reputations of individuals and organisations are at risk,” Kahiya says.
Dr. Tikhala Chibwana, WIN Africa Regional Director will be moderating the panel discussion. Chibwana says he is looking forward to some interesting discussion and that he hopes DMA participants’ experience will be enriched by the panel discussion and that it will be a call to action to the media.
WIN through its advisory programme has been conducting training and helping media partners develop sexual harassment policies on how prevent sexual harassment and to deal with it when it does occur. The programme has developed a handbook on Sexual Harassment which was launched two years ago and has been translated to several languages.