African media organizations should promote gender parity in the workplace and support campaign against violence targeted on women and girls, international campaigners said on Tuesday.

Krishanti Dharmaraj, Executive Director of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) said that mainstream media in Africa should invest in gender-sensitive reporting in a continent grappling with violence and discrimination against women.

“The threats faced by women and girls in Africa is widespread hence the need for media houses to invest in proper training on comprehensive coverage of gender-based violence,” Dharmaraj said at a side event held during the International Conference on Population and Development underway in Nairobi.

She urged African female journalists to be proactive in reporting cases of gender-based violence that have spiked amid retrogressive cultural beliefs, poverty and failure by governments to enact punitive legislation.

“African Women journalists should endeavor to spotlight abuse against the female gender that is often sanctioned by patriarchy. They should be on the frontline of efforts to root out this harmful practice in the society,” said Dharmaraj.

She said the media has a duty to promote national conversation on sexual violence against women.

Cosette Thompson, a gender rights activist said that African media organizations can leverage emerging technologies to sensitize the public on challenges facing women including discrimination, violence and limited economic opportunities.

“The media can play an advocacy role to end gender inequality by highlighting bottlenecks that women face in their quest for a better future for themselves and their children,” said Thomson.

She said that affirmative action and robust public awareness is key to promote gender parity that has been recognized as a prerequisite to achieve social renewal, inclusive growth, peace and stability in Africa. Enditem


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