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  • April 18, 2017
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Panos supports media fellowships to promote positive coverage of women leaders

Following a media training workshop that was held in Lusaka on 11th and 12th April 2017, Panos Institute Southern Africa (PSAf) is implementing a media fellowship programme to support journalists to provide in-depth and issue based content that promotes positive profiles of women leaders.

The media training and fellowships are part of the Women Empowered for Leadership project that PSAf is implementing in Zambia with support from the Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation (Hivos) Southern Africa.

Speaking at the media training in Lusaka on 11th April, PSAf Executive Director, Ms. Lilian Kiefer, said the fellowships were meant to support journalists to produce well-researched, investigative and in-depth content on women in leadership.

“The media fellowships are part of our efforts to champion women participation in leadership, to address the impact of negative media coverage of women,” said Ms. Kiefer. “The aim of the fellowships is to promote positive images of women leaders in the media. Equal participation in leadership for women is one of the key ways of protecting women’s human rights and advancing substantive gender equality. The current situation points to unequal participation where women are marginalised and their right to leadership trampled upon.”

“Through the media fellowships, PSAf will support interested journalists to cover women’s participation in leadership, and profile the contribution of women leaders to community, national and international development. It is our hope that the fellowships will contribute to an improved public profile of women leaders, and inspire the nation to celebrate and support women leaders. We are also confident that the fellowships will contribute to reducing the current gender disparity in leadership that is making it difficult for women to thrive,” added Ms. Kiefer.

To prepare the ground for the media fellowships, PSAf trained 42 journalists from print and electronic media entities. The training provided a platform for journalists to interact with potential sources comprising women in politics and public administration, and WE4L project partners namely: Hivos Zambia office, Non-Governmental Organisations Coordinating Council (NGOCC), Zambia National Women’s Lobby (ZNWL) and the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA). The participants also interfaced with women leaders such as Zambia’s former First Lady, lawyer and rights activist, Dr. Maureen Mwanawasa and former Member of Parliament for Chilubi, Ms. Julian Chisupa-Chipwende. The women leaders shared their experiences, and the challenges they had to overcome in their quest for leadership.

The participants described the training as informative and providing them with a solid foundation to improve their coverage of women leaders.

“The training has exposed us to a lot of thought provoking stuff, a lot of ideas have already come into my mind. I look forward to translating these ideas into media content,” said Albert Phiri, a senior journalist who has worked with several media houses.

Other participants shared Mr. Phiri’s sentiments. “The workshop was informative. It was great interacting with influential women such as Dr. Mwanawasa. I learnt so much from the women leaders and the presentations,” said Ms. Memory Musamba, a journalist from Radio Christian Voice.

More information on the Women Empowered for Leadership project is available on http://panos.org.zm/women-empowered-for-leadership-advocating-for-increased-women-participation-in-leadership/. Zambia based media practitioners interested in participating in the media fellowships can email elias@panos.org.zm or vusa@panos.org.zm.