The Kigali Declaration on Gender Violence in and through the Media, adopted on 1 December, a declaration on media and gender violence was adopted at the African Women in Media Conference (AWiM23).
The Declaration addresses both representation of gender-based violence (GBV) in news media content and news media organisations. It acknowledges the media’s power to inform and influence the public’s understanding of GBV. It sets out minimum measures for different groups of stakeholders in the media sector.
Before the AWiM23 conference, representatives from the media sector, academia, and civil society prepared a draft declaration. Following intense deliberation and subsequent revisions to the draft, conference participants unanimously agreed on the principles of the Kigali Declaration on the Elimination of Gender Violence in and through Media. The Declaration asserts that African media have the power to shape narratives and inform public knowledge on all forms of gender violence. It recognises the urgent need for principles to guide news and information media in their coverage of gender-based violence and in adequately combating gender-based violence experienced by staff in the line of duty. Signing the Declaration signals a commitment to meet the minimum measures agreed for each stakeholder group.
“Findings from the Global Media Monitoring Project indicate that gender-based violence, the most pervasive form of human rights violation, is hardly newsworthy. In Africa, just 1% of stories cover this topic across all news platforms. The Declaration marks a milestone for concerted commitment to change the picture.” Dr Sarah Macharia (Global Media Monitoring Project GMMP-WACC, and Chair of the Kigali Declaration Committee). “The Declaration is an action plan that sets a minimum standard for all stakeholders that impacts how media functions concerning African women and how gender-based violence is discussed in media.
The Declaration is on a dedicated website, and individuals, organisations, associations, regulators, platforms and all stakeholders can become signatories to the Declaration. By being signatories, they say they will abide by these minimum standards set for them as stakeholders by the Declaration. “Dr Yemisi Akinbobola (Co-Founder & CEO, African Women in Media). “A grant-making component of the Declaration will support individuals and organisations to carry out related projects, and we are pleased that Fojo Media Institute has pledged $5,000 to get us started. More details about this to come in due course.” “Research done by Fojo Media Institute and AWiM shows to what extent sexual harassment and gendered discrimination affect women in the media sector.
The fact that women journalists consider leaving or have left the media sector because of sexual harassment is unacceptable. The Kigali Declaration has the potential to change the situation for the better and to contribute to more ethical and balanced reporting on GBV” Agneta Soderberg Jacobson (Senior Gender Advisor, Fojo Media Institute). To know more and sign the Declaration, visit: https://africanwomeninmedia.com/declaration/