Uganda: Envoy Decries Low Women Representation in Media

Kampala — Women representation in some media houses across the country remains low compared to their male counterparts, the Norwegian ambassador to Uganda, Ms Susan Eckey, has said.

Speaking yesterday during the launch of the Women in News (WIN), Uganda, Mr Eckey decried lack of access to equal opportunities for female journalists in Uganda.

She attributed the low representation to the way society perceives women.

She said there are few female political commentators occupying higher positions.

"Female journalists, who have already taken some top positions in the media, should train their fellow women and lift them up if equal opportunities in the labour market are to be achieved because this is very essential," Ms Eckey said.

She also highlighted challenges female journalists face such as sexual harassment, that has pushed women away from the field.

Ms Eckey said atleast 48 per cent of women in media across the world have experienced sexual harassment, something she said must be addressed.

Ms Barbara Kaija, the New Vision's editor-in-chief, who is also a WIN steering committee member, said men have continuously positioned themselves for juicy jobs since women's time is compromised in taking care of children.

Meanwhile, Ms Justine Nabunya, a member of the Uganda Media Women Association, said they have established that most women in some media houses are not being granted their annual and maternity leave.

Others, she said, are sharing toilets with their male counterparts.

"Such challenges have made most newsrooms less convenient for female journalists and majority of them have opted out after working for a short period of time," she said.

She added: "Most panels in the newsroom are dominated by men so women are left out since there is no one to push for their rights."

Win

The women empowerment progammme. Women will undertake a one- year training in media-related issues that include self-discovery.

The programme is running in nine African countries, Uganda inclusive. It is sponsored by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers and has attracted more than 20 journalists.

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