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Promote Female Politicians, Masarira Urges Media

Opposition Labour Economists and African Democrats (LEAD) President Linda Tsungirirai Masarira has urged the media to promote female politicians in order bridge the gap between women and men as far as positions of authority are concerned.

By Adelaide Kuudzerema

In an interview with 263Chat, Masarira said the media should prioritize women’s concerns as well as producing gender-neutral reports in order to promote equality between women and men.

“The media should make it a policy to first study the gender mechanism, understand the gender distribution especially if there is an equal opportunity for both sexes to be quoted as news sources,” Masarira said

She further called on the media to broaden sourcing patterns so that parity between men and women’s views is achieved, including a multiplicity of perspectives concerning political issues.

Masarira said educating political institutions, political parties and journalists especially on gender equality is important as it ensures balance in terms of representation and coverage.

She castigated media organisations that focus on women’s appearance, wardrobe, mannerisms when covering women politicians.

“Some of these indicators show how women politicians are reconstructed by the media and it is important that media plays its role of being the voice of the voiceless not demeaning women,” she said.

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While the Zimbabwean media is aware of the increasing need to mainstream gender issues in their reportage, women in politics still raised concern over insensitive and sexist portrayal of women, especially in newspaper headlines.

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