The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) in partnership with the French media development agency, Canal France International (CFI), has commenced a two-year project aimed at promoting gender equality in the media in Ghana and Cote’ d’Ivoire.
The project, titled Equal Voices, is aimed at combatting gender inequalities and stereotypes, and promoting women at all decision-making levels in Ivorian and Ghanaian societies through a gender-sensitive media. The project also seeks to strengthen the capacities of male and female media professionals to promote and to develop managerial and editorial policies that promote a better representation of women (as experts and agents of change) and a more balanced gender representation.
Eight media organisations – four each in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana are the beneficiaries under the project. Media managers from the selected media organisations made up of an editorial manager or a person exercising management or HR functions, will participate in a series of Peer-to-peer learning; Coaching and Mentorship sessions where they will be trained to be more gender aware.
They will also be supported to identify challenges and opportunities in terms of gender equality in their media organisations and to put in place policies to increase women’s voices and representation in media content and at decision-making levels.
Sixteen journalists from the selected media organisations will also participate in a series of Capacity building programmes in gender equality and women empowerment. They will be coached through story development sessions to produce and publish more gender-sensitive reports.
Selection of the beneficiary media organisations followed a competitive application process including interviews with media managers and two journalists from each of the applicant media organisations.
Below is the list of the eight media organisations:
- Nhyira/Luv FM – Kumasi, Ghana
- A1 Radio – Bolgatanga, Ghana
- Radio Justice– Tamale, Ghana
- Ghana Broadcasting Corporation’ Garden City Radio – Kumasi, Ghana
- Radio Daloa FM – Daloa, Cote d’Ivoire
- Observateur Citoyen – Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire
- Radio Soleil – San Pedro, Cote d’Ivoire
- Nouvelle Chaine Ivoirienne – Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire
The project was officially launched at a seminar held in Accra on the theme: Promoting Gender parity in the media: Rising to the Challenge of Equality. Participants at the launch included journalists, editors, media managers, women’ groups, gender activists, government ministries and the diplomatic corps. Deliberations focused on the challenges of unfair coverage and representation of women in the media; gender pay gap; limited number of women in senior management in media organisations amongst others.
Key recommendations included the need for media organisations to be more intentional about creating opportunities for women and consciously including women’s voices in their content and at all levels of decision-making. Media organisations were also encouraged to have documented policies on gender equality to guide practices within their media organisations.