Ten journalists from different media houses had the chance to collaborate at the MenEngage conference held over two days last week in the capital.
The gathering at a city lodge was aimed at promoting partnerships in engaging men to support gender equality, prevent HIV/AIDS, promote human rights, reduce violence at all level across the country and most importantly work with the media towards addressing gender-based violence (GBV).
MenEngage started in 2012 by providing training and consultation aimed at strengthening capacity, soliciting buying-in and facilitating a global network. “The reason we invited media houses is because we want the media to contribute to issues related to gender-based violence. Media should by all means start concentrating on good things done by men such as playing with their kids, caring for their children, doing their children’s hair and publishing pictures of men wearing the skirt for instance because it is never wrong. Focusing only reports on passion killings, rape and robbery will never change men to be good because the media does not concentrate on the good part they (men) do sometimes,” stated workshop facilitator Ngamane Karuaihe-Upi
Media should play a role in confirming gender and get men involved taking into account the different needs of girls and boys, men and women, to promote gender equality, he stated.
“Media should challenge the way men look at women differently in they always want them to meet their expectations in society, therefore media should play the role and attribute to them,” further stated Karuaihe-Upi who is a prominent gender equality advocate.
Participants said in order for women to be on an equal level with men, they must start working together and stand as one, leave the too emotional moments and focus on what is important for both of them.
“Women compete because they all like to be beautiful, sexy and looking good,” he stated. He implored women to accept the way they are by not mixing up their African perspectives with those of Europeans because that is when men will change and see them differently; and this will reduce gender-based violence and bring equality.
James Itana one of the facilitators said, “It is better to create small discussions in media houses that’s when they can understand this issue.”