Zimbabwe: Media Stakeholders Hold Workshop, Validate Sexual Harassment Policies.

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Stakeholders in the media industry in Zimbabwe consulted and came up with a common and enforceable plan to end sexual harassment across the industry. Most media industries already have policies that curtail sexual harassment but their enforcement levels vary.

The stakeholders met at a workshop in Harare to validate the draft policy. The minister of Information, publicity, and broadcasting services was in attendance and validated the sexual harassment draft policy at the workshop which was co-hosted by the Zimbabwe Media Commission Women in News. The minister was of the opinion that it would help rid the industry of sex perverts in the media sector. 

The function was also attended by media executives, civil society, and media stakeholders. The document is expected to provide safety for media practitioners notwithstanding gender.

While launching the workshop, Muswere hammered on how necessary the policy is to society as the sexual harassment issues inhibited media industry growth. He said, “As a government, we believe that we do not have a monopoly of knowledge and this is precisely why we are participating in this sexual harassment validation workshop. Of importance, as we develop the Sexual Harassment Policy that will take care of all the shortcomings that we have in terms of the gender policies in all newsrooms in the country, it is very important that we redefine what sexual harassment is. What is the scope? How do we triangulate that we have connected?” he added.

The data that would be collected would provide an opportunity to end the challenges associated with sexual harassment. He mentioned that the vice needed to be redefined by getting perspectives from males who were also victims of the vice. He also said the draft should be aligned with the existing laws that regulate the labor processes. 

The deputy executive of WAN-IFRA, Jane Godia while complaining of the rise in sexual harassment of female journalists said “We have been training women to gain skills in leadership and newsroom management. We realized that there are barriers to women progressing in the newsroom. When we asked around one of the issues that came up was sexual harassment was rife in the media and we decided to conduct research in 2017.” The research revealed that 48% of women who are working in the media have experienced either physical or verbal sexual harassment.”

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