Women In News’ advocacy efforts in promoting gender equality in and through the media have seen the programme adopting various approaches in its engagement with media organisations.
Stemming from this, two media organisations in Rwanda received training on how to formulate gender policies from the Women In News team on 24 and 25 October 2017.
The New Times and PAX Press are now able to draw on the guidelines provided to ensure that gender equality is built into all aspects of their work, from the news and programmes they deliver, to overall organisational policies and procedures.
Despite having different backgrounds and focus, the New Times and PAX Press leadership expressed their interest in prioritising gender equality in their work.
The training involved making a case for diversity, the gender policy formulation process and steps to creating an action plan for the formulation of a policy.
Both organisations now understand that it is important that gender is considered in the content and delivery of their work as it creates a more inclusive, effective learning and working environment. Furthermore, encouraging greater representation and participation is key in levelling the workplace for men and women.
Board Chairperson and Legal Representative for PAX Press Janvier Murenzi stated that the gender policy is a document that the organisation had been talking about adopting for a long time.
Given PAX Press’ various programming, which spans from capacity building, coaching and management of journalists, holding community debates and advocacy, the training could not have come at a better time as the organisation continues to seek ways in which it can improve in addressing the needs of men, women, boys and girls in its programmes. Murenzi encouraged his team to place the gender policy formulation process among the top priorities for the organisation and stated that a draft should be in place by end of January 2018.
National Coordinator for PAX Press Albert Baudoiun Twizeyimana stated, “The workshop was relevant and has been fruitful. We now have a plan for drafting a gender policy, which was among our priorities”.
New Times CEO, Collin Haba, expressed the same sentiment. “We needed this policy yesterday”; he said when he and his team were drafting the action plan for their formulation process.
Various studies have pointed to the need for media to embrace gender diversity. WIN acknowledges that media organisations need to go a step further in ensuring that gender diversity is promoted more so given the gaps that currently exist in coverage of women in the media as well as their representation in media management.
The WIN programme works toward tackling the existing inequality in the media industry by working with leaders within the industry to address these gaps. WIN recognises that leaders who are willing to embrace equality are the key in ensuring the success of diversity within their organisations.