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53% of female journalists sexually harassed -WIN


53% of female journalists sexually harassed -WIN



HARARE – At least 53% of Zimbabwe female journalists in newsrooms have faced sexual harassment according to a report by WAN-INFRA Women in News Deputy Executive Director, Jane Godia.
Godia raised these alarming figures which she said are even higher than the African rate which is 47% last week during the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) Media Industry Sexual Harassment Policy launch at Meikles Hotel.
The policy was launched by the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Dr Jenfan Muswere. He said that it is aimed at creating a media environment that is free from sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse in newsrooms.
Godia also said that sexual harassment is rampant in radio stations which accounts for 31% of abuse cases.
“The highest incidence of sexual harassment was reported in radio, where 31% reported that they had been harassed while print had 29% and TV had 25%. Only 12% of newsrooms in Zimbabwe are led by women, while only 18% of editorial lead positions, such as editor-in-chief and managing editor, are held by women. The lack of women at decision making levels leaves women vulnerable, because they are not being defended.
“Looking further we also find out that interns who come to our newsrooms are sexually harassed hence they do not come back to take journalism as a profession – 100% of female students have been sexually harassed,” said Godia
Muswere said the launch is a momentous event as the policy affects the entire media industry.
“This is a momentous event in the media sector as sexual harassment statistics in our country are alarming. The policy is however coming in to create a media environment that is free from sexual exploitation and abuse.
“Most media houses already have policies in place, but having ZMC launching one makes a whole difference, the commission has strengthened all the other policies in our newsrooms, this policy will be binding on all in the media industry,” said Muswere.
He commended ZMC for taking a leading role in ensuring the eradication of sexual harassment in the newsrooms.
“We want to support the eradication of sexual harassment in all newsrooms, in all the media houses in our country because that hinders growth.
“The moment we have a situation where counterparts, or superiors in media houses exchanging sexual favours, that becomes a disaster,”said Muswere
ZMC chairperson, Professor Ruby Magosvongwe said the policy had been crafted after extensive engagement with various stakeholders in the industry with the same goal of eradicating sexual harassment.
“The development of the policy that we are launching here is a response to the scourge that has ravished our newsrooms for too long. We cannot look aside any further while sex pests poison the media fraternity.
I am happy with the assistance of various media houses, media associations and all meadia stakeholders, we managed to put together a guideline to stop sexual harassment in the industry” said Magosvongwe.

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