Gender & Media Connect

Gender and Media Connect (GMC) is a legally registered organisation whose functions are anchored on its mission and vision which seeks to empower women in various sectors of society to engage with the media. As a Gender and Media advocacy and representative organisation, GMC works to promote not only the rights of women in media but also rights of women in accessing media both as a source of information as well as platforms for free expression. GMC identifies the lopsided and stereotypical representation of women in the media as a drawback to the success of women in leadership be it politics, social and economic sectors.[1]

Background

Gender and Media Connect is a gender and media organisation working towards creating a gender sensitive and inclusive media environment in Zimbabwe and in the world!

The GMC entry point is that the negative representation and portrayal of women in media contributes to low women participation in all spheres of public life. And that the media is hugely dominated by powerful men makes this space an area for contestation in the struggle for the advancement of women, and recognition of women voices. The role of the media as conveyors of not only information, but culture, traditions, beliefs, ambition makes the media an important site of struggle for GMC as part of advancing gender equality. Analysis shows that Zimbabwe socio-political dialogues and spaces remain dominated by men hence the low women voices, and undermining of women voices to act as change agents. Women remain second class citizens when it comes to news stories coverage as well as representation of voices in various media platforms.

The Team

  • National Director - Abigail Gamanya
  • Programmes Officer - Chido Valerie Sibalo
  • Finance and Administration Officer - Michael Medzayi
  • Programmes Assistant - Kudzai Phil Muchenjekwa

Membership

They have a four-tier annual membership subscription available as follows:

  1. Full Membership is – $10.00 This shall be open to professional Zimbabwean women involved in communication, journalism and media. Their membership shall be confirmed upon payment of membership fees as set periodically by the AGM.
  2. Associate membership – $10.00 This is open to any persons (including men) and any organisation which Gender and Media Connect considers to be eligible by virtue of their interests in the area of communication and their contribution to the attainment of the aims and objectives of the Gender and Media Connect Associate members shall pay membership fees at rate determined periodically at the AGM.
  3. Honorary membership - This shall be offered by the AGM to persons who in the opinion of Gender and Media Connect have made an outstanding contribution around the area of gender, media and communication or who have given outstanding service to Gender and Media Connect. Honorary members shall be exempt from payment of joining fees or subscriptions.
  4. Institutional membership - This is open to organisations that will add credibility to Gender and Media Connect through having such as a close relationship and these are regarded as key partners in achieving the vision of Gender and Media Connect.
  5. Student membership – $5.00. This is open to students involved in communication,media and journalism training. Membership is confirmed upon payment of membership fees as set periodically by the AGM.

Services

Advancement & Empowerment

They seek to improve women’s participation in and through the media by:

  • Media literacy capacity building workshops and mentorship sessions for Women and Girls.
  • Training journalists and individual media houses on gender sensitive sourcing trends.
  • Public lectures and Individual Media House seminars on sexual harassment and gender discrimination.
  • Constantly updating and reviewing of the Women Sources Directory; According to Her and Women’s Media Coaching Handbooks

Advocacy and Policy

As part of their advocacy and lobby policy; they assist media houses in Zimbabwe in formulating or reviewing gender sensitive editorial and administrative policies and practices. They also work with Media Focused Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in formulating gender policies, gender action plans and gender mainstreaming of all other administrative polices.

Knowledge Management and Resource Centre

Their strategic aim is to increase and avail knowledge on gender and media dynamics in Zimbabwe by providing credible evidence-based research materials through:

  • Continuous generation and dissemination of new gender and media information
  • Production of Gender and Media Industry related situational analysis, position papers and baseline reports.

Networking and Partnership Development

Over the years GMC has initiated informal meetings to facilitate “Candid Talk” discussions on topical issues around gender and the media. The forums bring men and women opportunities for debating their perspectives influencing their mode of reporting on women related issues raising the concerns of media women and women in general.

To date GMC has hosted Candid Talks in Harare, Gweru, Mutare, Masvingo, Kwekwe and Bulawayo.

GMC’s network partnerships include relationships with media organizations, media–focused CSOs, international organizations and media training institutions. Government ministries get the different stakeholders together and provide the regulatory framework within which GMC operates.

  • Media Organizations: GMC works with all major mainstream media houses namely Zimpapers, New Ziana, Alpha Media Holdings, Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe, AB Communications and The Source. We also work with community newspapers mainly from Masvingo Province and Midlands Province.
  • Media–Focused CSOs: They strategically partner with organizations such as Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ), Voluntary Media Council Zimbabwe (VMCZ) and Media Monitors to complement the work of GMC through their own programs that respond to critical media issues around capacity building and ethical reporting.
  • Regional and International Organizations: GMC works closely with a wide network of regional and international organizations, especially World Association of Newspapers (WAN-INFRA), Gender Links and UN Agencies. These are important as technical partners around gender mainstreaming.
  • Media Training Institutions: They work with Tertiary colleges and universities that offer Journalism, Communication and Media training around issues of induction and sexual harassment. These are key stakeholders because of their role of building foundations for all media workers.

Contact

  • 34 Colenbrander Avenue, Milton Park, Harare, Zimbabwe
  • Email : info@gmc.org.zw
  • Call : +263-4 778096/778006

References

  1. [1], Gender & Media Connect, Accessed: 16 June, 2020