Poor participation of women journalists in political matters

The Association of Women Journalists-AFJO has organized this 15 November a workshop to sensitize women in general not to be afraid to provide political information, push media officials to encourage female journalists to work on political issues and urge civil society leaders to advocate for gender mainstream in the media.

Aimée Nshimirimana, program manager at Rema Radio: “Some media and editors minimize women's skills"

Aimée Nshimirimana, program manager at Rema Radio: “Some media and editors minimize women’s skills”

Agathonique Barakukuza, the chairperson of AFJO, deplores the fact that the rate of female journalists’ participation in political matters is very low.

According to the statistics released by the monitoring report of the National Media Council-CNC of June and July 2016, women represent 32.2% of newscasters, while they represent 18% of reporters and men 82 %. For sources, women account for only 15%.

For Barakukuza such low participation has negative consequences on Burundian women’s development. “If the community is not used to hearing women expressing themselves or seeing them taking part in political activities, people will not be able to trust them, for example, if they choose to apply for political positions,” says AFJO chairperson.

She says the stereotypes used to refer to women in general, and women in politics in particular, and the lack of self – confidence observed among women journalists, are among the causes of this low participation of women in politics-related information . To address the latter, she proposes capacity building for women journalists and the organizing of activities to promote their participation in political information.

Aimée Nshimirimana, program manager at Rema Radio, says women journalists need to have a place in political issues. She deplores the fact that women are not self-confident. “Some media and editors minimize women’s skills,” she says, calling on women journalists to bear in mind that they are able.