Gender inequality is unacceptable in any form and in any place_ Internews_ August 2016

Date: August 22, 2016
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Name of the story: Gender inequality is unacceptable in any form and in any place

Name of the media house: Internews

Country: Tanzania

Please share a short story that may be inspirational; emotional or significant in other ways that demonstrates the essence of your/the leaders work. In what way do you/or does the leader qualify to be a Driver of Change? Please make this clear at the outset of the piece.

Convincing the Internews Regional Director that in setting up leading a panel of judges for selecting Winners of the Excellence in Journalism Awards 2015 included categories on gender and maternal health and those nine women won first prize.

Convincing the Internews Regional Director that in setting up Internews in Tanzania, one of the core training components towards the 2015 general elections should include Reporting with a Gender Lens. Internews funding the Tanzania Media Women’s Association (TAMWA) to train journalists to push for more coverage of gender issues and the voices of women in towards the elections.

Give a short history of the leader

Please give information on your/the leaders background, where he/she/you started, how you got involved in gender work.

Please capture any light bulb moments, through anecdotes and examples.

Proven experience in advocacy especially for Women and Children, and commendable communication skills, a household name in seeking equality and social justice for women and children. For every undertaking, I bring professionalism, commitment, integrity and confidence in engaging with people of different levels to get the desired results.

Member of the Historic Constitutional Assembly: Brought to CA’s attention the issue of child marriage in Tanzania and the need to include the age of the child in the constitution. This is to protect the girl child from early/forced marriage.

Member of the Constitution Drafting Committee: Lobbied for equality inclusions that are part of the proposed constitution; the protection of the girl child and women against harmful traditional practices; Women’s rights to leadership and land, to respect and health among others.

Media Advocacy: Highlighted the importance of the media in bringing about social change especially on the issue of harmful traditional practices and GBV. Have given presentations in Tanzania and outside on the role of the media and social transformation.

Media Engagement: Spoken of the issue of gender based violence including harmful traditional practices on the girl child and women in the media, both print and electronic, and have written features for the national dailies on the same subject. Trained journalists on reporting GBV and held meeting with editors on gender equality in the news and newsrooms.

Founder member of TAMWA: Being one of founder members of TAMWA, thus on record of establishing the oldest media organization in the country which has had immense impacts at the family, society, national as well as international level.

Publications: Several publications and articles on gender including Journalists Guide to Gender Based Violence Reporting as well as resource tool for women aspirants – My Leadership Guide and The Media and I.


What is his/her/your personal mission statement?

As a founder member of TAMWA, to bring about social transformation and gender equality through the use of media

Key activities

Describe the nature of your work: please include any negative experiences.

Solid knowledge of the media and a passion in using the power of communication to advocate for women and children’s rights as well as to strengthen and advance multi-stakeholder partnerships through engagement of both external and internal players.

Key challenges

Describe challenges faced in pushing for gender equality in the media house.

The patriarchy system inherent in the society and transferred into the newsrooms and in the writing and production of news features and programmes. Continued stereotyping in the media houses Lack of political will in appointing women to lead media houses, this is replicated in the privately owned media (except for ITV) Women voices and issues still not considered headline/front page news

Change at the individual level

Please state how championing gender has changed your life? Why has it changed? What other factors/people have been responsible for this change?

Championing gender has made me more articulate and passionate about equality. Being part of the Tanzania Coalition for the Constitution that nominated me to be part of the Constitutional Assembly of Tanzania. This was due to the Coalition’s belief that I would speak for women and use the media to advance our cause

Evidence of change at the individual level

Please provide evidence and at least one quote from other people to support your statements on change at personal level.

Please ensure that you provide name, surname, organisation and designation if applicable.

‘You articulate well the need for gender equality in news and the newsroom,’ Edda Sanga, Executive Director, TAMWA ‘Congratulations on facing the Constitutional Assembly, I was impressed by the passionate way you spoke,’ Fatma Alloo, Board Member of the Zanzibar International Film Festival and the Tanzania Media Foundation

Change at institutional level

Please state how the change in your life has brought positive change in your institution. What innovation have you brought to the institution in light of the Post 2015 goals?

While with Internews, made gender sensitivity a core-training component in the capacity building of journalists pushed for training on the SDGs for women

Evidence of change at institutional level

Please provide testimonial evidence Please give examples and quote others. Ensure that you provide name, surname, organisation and designation if applicable.

‘You have made Internews a recognized institution in terms of gender sensitivity and giving voice to the voiceless,’ Wence Mushi, the current Project Director of Inter-news

Capacity building

Please give an outline of any activity or training you undertook to build the capacity of others.

Built the capacity of more than 200 journalists in Tanzania on reporting with a gender lens built the capacity of women aspirants on engaging with the media to have their voices and issue heard written manuals as resources tools for journalists and women Panel discussant on the media and women.

Lessons learned and shared

What lessons have been learned in the process?

Knowing the issues and articulating them well

Understanding the power of the media

Being part of the women networks

Being passionate

Being persistent

Knowing there will be resistance and ridicule

Next Steps

What are your plans? Concluding thoughts.

Continue pushing for gender equality in the newsrooms and more women voices in the news Work towards gender mainstreaming the newsrooms continue to use the media to create awareness on gender equality for a peaceful Tanzania society that respects human rights with a gender perspective.