FAJ Conference Adopts Declaration on Gender and Media

The All-African Conference on Gender and Media organised

by the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) has concluded today in Kigali, Rwanda, after three

days of debate. The following is the text of the Declaration adopted by the


We, the participants 

to the All-African Conference on Gender and Media gathered  in Kigali from 26-28 August 2011, on  the theme "Empowering African Women

Journalists: Stepping up to the Challenge of Gender Equality":

- Conscious of the huge challenges facing the African

region in its quest to enhance gender equality in the media institutions,

unions, associations and the society at large;

- Underscoring that African women journalists continue

to occupy lower graded levels in the media industry, where they face

marginalisation, discrimination, exploitation, harassment and abuse;

- Noting the challenges and constraints of women

journalists in Africa;

- Considering the barriers to women journalists' active

participation in activities of journalists' organizations;

 - Cognizant of

the difficulties facing women journalists in attaining leadership positions,

equal treatment and remuneration in the work place;

- Concerned about gender discriminatory practices

prevalent in the media, male domination of journalists organizations and low

understanding of gender issues among journalists;

- Taking into account the concerns, challenges and

recommendations that emanated from the gender surveys conducted by the IFJ, the

FAJ and the affiliates in the five sub regions of the African Continent;

- Considering the guidelines and standards of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)  in the workplace;

- Noting the gender policies and programmes of the African Union (AU)

and the UN Women;

- Recognising the contribution that women journalists

make to development in Africa,  

- Considering that the conference has adopted a

comprehensive regional gender sensitive policy framework which mainstreams

gender into the  structures, programmes

and processes of the FAJ  that would

serve as a guiding tool to the unions and associations in the interest of

gender equality and equity as well as improve the chances for fair, balanced

and ethical reporting that will in turn positively impact the quality and

quantity of reporting from a gender perspective.

- Reaffirming the policies

and programmes of the FAJ, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and their affiliates around the fundamental and inalienable rights of

people for a just and equal society;

Hereby resolve:

1.  To call on FAJ to encourage its affiliates to promote better

representation of women at all levels by setting some mechanisms such as quota

system and others;

2.  To ensure the establishment and building of gender

structures and employment of gender coordinators in all affiliates and

regional associations;

3.  To campaign for women to take up strategic

leadership positions;

4.  To embark on a review of the statutes,  constitutions and collective bargaining

agreements of  its membership with a

view  to mainstreaming gender equality  into the operations of the unions and

associations as well as promoting gender concerns, in particular issues that

are specific to women in the workplace in order for the  unions to be

able to genuinely advance the interests of women journalists;

5.  To engage the media employers and editors, especially

in countries in conflict, so that they provide their employees - irrespective

of their gender- with a conducive work environment which guarantees their

safety and security;

6.  To develop a systematic mentoring and training

programmes to address the specific needs and aspirations of  young women journalists;

7.  To advocate for gender education in the curriculum of

the journalism schools and other training institutions;

8.  To campaign 

side-by-side other relevant gender advocacy groups to eliminate gender

inequality and violence against women in the media industry of Africa and the

broader African society as well as unemployment, poor and unsafe working

conditions of female and male journalists;

9.  To uphold the norms and standards of employment of the

ILO and ITUC on gender mainstreaming;


To make

journalists trade unions and associations affiliated with the International

Federation of Journalists and the Federation of African Journalists

democratically accountable and responsive to the needs of both female and male


11. To urge the IFJ,

FAJ and their affiliated organisations to commit and mobilise more resources to

finance women structures and all other gender equality work in Africa;


To establish

a continental Commission/Council for Gender Equality (CGE) to advance, promote

and protect gender equality within the journalists' movement and the media

industry in Africa;

13.To commit to build  monitoring and evaluation systems of the  gender policies and programmes in order to

assess progress;


To allocate resources through gender budgeting

in order to address gender objectives more effectively;


in Kigali, Rwanda


August 2011


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FAJ represents 50.000 members in 38 countries