Media gender stereotyping pushing females out of elections: WCOZ

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Writes Elvis Dumba

Chinhoyi – The media has been accused of pushing women out of electoral participation, the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe Mashonalnd West Provincial Coordinator, Nonsikeleleko Ngwenya claimed.

Making a presentation at the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) Election Reporting Workshop in Chinhoyi, Ngwenya accused the media of portraying women as sex objects.

“The media is not doing enough to promote the political participation of women. This is reflected in the way the media portrays women, usually not as capable leaders. It usually gives more space to male politicians,” she said, adding the media should promote the participation of women in the political arena by positively covering them.

“We have been having few women taking up the challenge to take political positions due to traditional notions that women cannot be effective leaders. The media’s stereotypical coverage of women politicians has turned off some female politicians, ” she said.

Ngwenya said women politicians also face the brunt of the “brown envelope” when some journalists demand kickbacks to give publicity to candidates.

Female journalist Annie Mpume urged journalists to take the issue of personal security seriously during election seasons.

Zimbabwe Election Commission Provincial Elections Officer, Austin Ndlovu, implored the media to promote the gospel of political tolerance.

“As journalists, let us carry our duties of informing voters by disseminating accurate information and end polarisation of the media landscape by working ethically,” he said.