The Kenya Media Sector Working Group has called for the employment of more female journalists in order to ensure the media provides equal opportunity and space for both men and women.
In a statement signed by the Group’s Chairman Churchill Otieno, the Working Group says the employment of female journalists will enable the media to achieve affirmative action within the media sector.
“More women should be recruited into journalism to ensure the media provides equal opportunity and space for both men and women. This requires affirmative action to urgently remedy the gender skew,“ read the statement.
In a raft of recommendations, the group bringing together Kenya Editors’ Guild, Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ), and Association of Media Women in Kenya (AMWIK) among others, is calling on the media to conduct a self-audit in the newsrooms on the skill sets available and those that are needed.
Ensure media is a safe space for women says @Marcelblessed and attractive for women journalists as a critical sustainability issue. It may look expensive but has a huge business value in the long run#MediaSustainbilityKE @KUJ_Kenya @MediaCouncilK @KenyaEditors @Oduorerick pic.twitter.com/Qi1R7932Vs
— Association of Media Women in Kenya (@AMWIK) March 6, 2021
They decried the dwindling number of journalists in media houses saying that the unprecedented layoffs are impacting the sector negatively and urged for a sector-wide intervention to address alleged sexual harassment within the media space.
The issues of retrenchment of journalists, and imposition of pay cuts in some media houses were termed unsustainable noting that they will have long-term effects on the place, roles and responsibilities of the media in an information society.
A recommendation to have a Media Fund was among the requests termed as necessary so as to guarantee consistent and continued availability of independent and diverse media.
Adding that: “We have committed to work with Parliament to come up with a law to establish an independent and progressive Media Fund.“