New Vision Institutional profile

Date: June 28, 2013
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New vision showing commitment to gender equality

“We are ready to sign the Gender Policy (for the media house) as soon as we go through it”
~ Mabvuto Chipeta, Managing Editor for New Vision

New Vision, a weekly community newspaper has a dedicated page on gender – Gender Matters covered by Mildred Chitongo.She has since been trained by Gender Links to become a driver of change and be one of the champions of the Centres of Excellence (COE) for gender mainstreaming in media project committed to issues of gender equality.

The managing editor Mabvuto Chipeta says this is a clear sign that the paper is

The newspaper started in 2008 and targets 5,000 people per edition in Central, Eastern, Luapula, Lusaka, Northern and Southern provinces.

The newspaper has made steady progress but still has some way to go to mainstream gender in all its content and in the workplace. But the media has shown commitment to ensure that this is achieved in the shortest possible time.

There is a draft policy in place which shows management has shown political will. It will be signed soon.

From right: Mildred Katongo, New Vision gender columnist for Gender Matters, Loveness Jambaya Nyakujarah, GL Alliance Manager and Sarah Longwe, GL Zambia board member. Photo: Derrick Sinjela

“We are ready to sign the Gender Policy (for the media house) as soon as we go through it” Chipeta said. He believes that the policy will improve New Visions’ institutional practice as well as the content.

Over the past year there has been no change of board which comprises of only one woman (17%) and five men. “If you look at the content there has been a steady increase of coverage of gender specific stories

and sources. There is a general understanding by staff because management has emphasised the importance of this. However the self-monitoring tool will reveal whether the newspaper is making progress in terms of increasing coverage of gender issues or women as news sources.

The work they are doing with Gender Links on the SADC Gender Protocol has exposed them to gender instruments such as the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development.

Covered in draft policy, the media house is moving towards setting targets for achieving gender balance at all levels by 2015 especially balancing male and female reporters. Currently employment advertisements are gender neutral.

Maternity leave is provided for in the conditions of employment at 90 days in line with the Zambia labour laws. Like many media houses, New Vision has no policy on paternity leave but the organisation says should someone request this it would be granted. However at the time of verification there had been no precedence.

There is a strict code of conduct in terms of zero tolerance to sexual harassment but there is no written stand-alone policy on sexual harassment.

The media house has not organised their own gender training but attended that which has been organised by other organisations such as Gender Links, Ministry of Gender. Chipeta believes that if you follow most of the content, because it is a community paper, reflects both voices of women and men. Currently they have the highest proportion of female news sources in Zambia out of the six media houses that GL has tracked according to the Gender and Media Progress Study in 2010. No statistical or self-monitoring results provided to show whether there has been improvement since then.

Reporters on the different beats are becoming gender sensitive but this is a growing area. There are efforts to ensure that there is a general understanding of gender mainstreaming but Chipeta believes this will improve. As a principle they do not accept sexist adverts though there is no written policy on this.

Women are encouraged to venture into non-traditional areas. For example New Vision is grooming one of the employees Mrs Mulenga to become a photojournalist.

The gender committee has its work cut out when the management finally signs the gender policy to ensure that this is operationalised.


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