FAJ Holds Conference on Gender Equality and Media in Kigali, Rwanda

An all -African conference on

Gender and Media opened today in Kigali, Rwanda, to debate ways of redressing challenges

facing African female journalists at the workplace across Africa. The three day

conference ‘Empowering African Women Journalists: Stepping Up to the Challenge

of Gender Equality' is organised by the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ)

with the support the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the

Ministry of Information of Rwanda and the Norwegian Foreign Ministry.

Journalists and their unions'

leaders, diplomats and African and international policy makers will discuss a

wide range of issues, including pay gap between genders and working conditions

contained in the Action Plan drafted by the IFJ Gender Council.

The President of the Federation of

African Journalists, Omar Faruk Osman, said the conference is timely and shows

the determination of African journalists' leaders to overcome the present challenges

facing African female journalists.

"These pressing challenges are

best captured in the theme of the conference and the appropriate response

requires a sound understanding of the pressing issues of women journalists both

on the home front and in news rooms across Africa," said Osman. "Discrimination

in pay and poor working conditions remain a reality in media houses and news

rooms, especially against female reporters."

Addressing the conference, the

President of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Jim Boumelha,

welcomed the dynamism and diversity in African journalism. He noted that issues

facing female journalists the world over twenty years such as the pay gap are

still around and called for renewed energy to end inequality.

"Decent work challenge is more

profound for women than for men," said Boumelha. "The pay gap legislation has

failed to suppress the inequality which has proved resistant to redress. It is

time for every one's contribution to bring down the edifice of injustice."

In her message to the conference,

the UN Women Executive Director, Michelle Bachelet, supported the conference's

goal to empower women in African media and to enhance their leadership in all


"African media partnership is

essential to the success of ‘Africa United against Violence against Women' campaign

which is part of the UN global campaign to end violence targeting women by 2015,"

said Ms Bachelet. "You are the voice of the silent and the champions of the


Kamilla H. Kolshus, First

Secretary at the Norwegian Embassy in Uganda, told the conference that Norway

believes in gender equality, media freedom and the promotion of women and

supported the conference's aim to achieve these goals.

The conference was officially

opened by the President of the Rwandan Senate, Dr. Vincent Biruta, who called

for better representation of women in Rwandan media to reflect the progress

achieved in other sectors of the national n the promotion of women in shaping

the destiny of Rwanda.

"Media should be viable sectors

where women can thrive in positions of leadership, in addition to by-line,

voices and images," said Dr. Biruta. 

The Rwandan Minister of Cabinet

Affairs in the Prime Minister's Office, Protais Musoni, committed to implementing the 

conference's agreed action plan, saying that gender equality will add to the

development of the country and will be part of Rwanda Media Reform process,

which is currently in progress.

For more information, please contact FAJ at + 250 784578393

FAJ represents over 50.000 journalists in 38 countries in Africa