Funding worthwhile says UNESCO

Funding worthwhile says UNESCO

Date: October 14, 2010
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The fundraising challenge for organisations such as Gender Links and GEMSA is always a headache but international donors such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), value the importance of funding events such as the current Gender and Media Summit.

Jaco Du Toit, UNESCO Communication and Information Officer at the Windhoek office in Namibia, said: “Media is a very important actor in society and supporting media activism can lead to tangible results in transforming society. This summit is a great opportunity for media houses to be sensitised about gender and to mainstream gender in our regional media.”

UNESCO is one of the implementers of a project on gender equality in Namibia, under the Millennium Development Goals Fund.

Du Toit says some of its funding and efforts have already reached fulfilment, after a recent UNESCO-funded audit on Gender in Media Education and Journalism Training was done in Namibia.

The audit presented the findings on gender in media education and journalism training in both entry-level and postgraduate media and journalism programmes at the institutions of the Polytechnic of Namibia (PON) and the University of Namibia (UNAM).

Positive spin-offs include the provision of 14 new courses on gender-based violence (GBV) at the Polytechnic and UNAM, where there will also be a new module on Gender in Media Theory.

UNESCO has funded several representatives of media houses, educational institutions and community media in Namibia, to attend the summit and awards.

Presentations from many of the Namibian delegates will be spreading the word about what is happening in Namibia and provoking discussion about how the successes can be replicated across the region.

“I can’t tell you how great it is that our attendance here is paid for, all you need is your time and yourself, if we had to fund our travel and stay here it would have been impossible to attend,” said Kudakwango Cwisweto of Namibia’s One Africa Television.

For Pieter Oliver, Station Manager for Live FM, a community radio station in Namibia, Pieter Olivier, it is his first time to attend the gender summit.

“This is an eye-opener for me. We have a real lack of experience when it comes to gender issues in our station, so this is a great thing for us.”

When he returns to Namibia, Olivier says his group will go out and train community members on gender issues and they can then come and present these issues to radio listeners.

“We couldn’t have afforded to come here, was it not for UNESCO,” a thankful Gerson Kamatuka, Acting General Manager for Human Resources, at the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) exclaimed.”Since I am the custodian of policies at my organisation, I have to get this exposure to develop the policy and come up with a roadmap to implement gender sensitive policies,” he said.

UNESCO spends about US$30 000 per annum on the project, promoting gender and media issues in Namibia.


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