Winstone Kaimira – Malawi

Winstone Kaimira – Malawi

Date: June 30, 2015
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My name is Winstone Kaimira and I have been working with Dzimwe Community Radio Station for over seven years now. Before being moved to the office of the Deputy Station Manager in January this year, I was working as the news editor of the station. I held the editor’s position from 2007 to the end of 2012.

Since Dzimwe is a small radio station with few members of staff, working as the news editor also meant that I would be supervising my fellow reporters. This position is more or less like being the head of the newsroom department. It was my responsibility to assign reporters to undertake various assignments. I also monitored the news and programme content to ensure that they conform to the radio’s editorial policy. Besides these cores tasks, I do programmes for the radio as well.

My first encounter with Gender Links was last year (2012), when Dalitso Nkunika [Gender Links country facilitator] came to train us on how to use “a self-monitoring tool.” During the training, Nkunika also highlighted a number of gender and media issues. She mentioned some ways through which the media can mainstream gender in their news and production content. What was more interesting in her presentation is how mainstreaming gender in the media could lead to achieving gender equality in the society. The training was very insightful. This training has changed the way I do things as a journalist and I keep learning from it on a daily basis.

For instance, in the past I just reported news without paying attention to gender issues; the case is different today. These days I am always conscious of the language that I use and the sources I interview for my story. I always remind myself that I need to use gender language, and always make sure that men and women’s views are equally represented in a news story.

After this training, I also noted that as a radio station, we were not taking gender equality issues seriously. It was sad to note then that our editorial policy was gender blind. After this training workshop, I deemed it necessary as a radio to up our game and consider gender in our undertakings. Now the practice has changed in the newsroom. We have always emphasised a need to alternate between male and female sources whenever we are gathering news. Besides, Dzimwe Radio Station now regards gender as a news beat on par with other issues such as economics and politics.

At an individual level, I have a programme called Tisamale chilengedwe (let us protect our environment). This is a feature programme in which I talk about various issues regarding climate change and how it is affecting people’s day to day lives. Before the Gender Links training, I never thought climate change could be a gender issue. However, the training gave me an insight and it challenged me to see that everything has a gender aspect. This forced me to do some research regarding the subject and how it is disproportionally impacting on girls and women. I have now come to learn how environmental change is a gender issue and society needs to be sensitised on how women and girls should be on top of the climate change agenda.

Having Hilda Phiri as a station manager and my boss has been a source of motivation as well. She is young but very innovative. It amazes me that she achieves most of things that she lays her hands on. Her work ethics and management style has made me appreciate that women, if given a chance, have the capacity to deliver as well. In addition, as you may know, it is not very common to have female station manager of her age and this does not only motivate me but others as well.

Gender mainstreaming is a good thing, and advocating for gender equality in and through the media is one step that will help our societies appreciate why gender equality is important. However, I have come to learn that policies alone are not enough to achieving gender parity but ensuring that they are being implemented. For instance, Dzimwe Community Radio has a gender policy, but very few people are aware of what is contained in the policy. I would like to take it upon myself and ask management to start organising in house training sessions that will offer employees opportunities to familiarise themselves with the policy. Perhaps Gender Links would also come during those training sessions and train us on other gender related issues.

Climate change is my area of interest and I would like do more through my Tisamale Chilengedwe programme. There are many issues that I feel my listeners need to know about climate change, a thing that is calling on me to do more through the programme. I would like to secure sponsorship for the programme so that I can create a platform through which laypeople and experts can engage in climate change discourse. I feel there is more that people need to understand when it comes to climate issues. I would like to give more time to gender issues as well because women are suffering the most from climate change effects.


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