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 conference:

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;

10. 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 membership;

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;

12. 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;

14. To allocate resources through gender budgeting in order to address gender objectives more effectively;

Adopted in Kigali,

Rwanda 28 August 2011

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FAJ represents 50.000 members in 38 countries