Media urged to ensure gender balance in reporting electoral issues

By Musawenkosi Sibanda

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has urged broadcast media especially radio to ensure gender balance in reporting electoral processes.

Addressing stakeholders at the official opening of the Gender and Media Inclusion workshop , on Sunday , ZEC Chairperson , Justice Priscilla Chigumba , said radio which is the most accessible medium of communication should play a huge role in promoting gender equality and equity in access to information on electoral processes.

Justice Chigumba added that the media also has a huge role to play in influencing women to participate in the electoral process.

“The radio remains the most accessible platform for most people in both urban and rural areas . The 2017 study by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) found that 69% of women and 68 % of men prefer radio as their source of political information . A more recent study by the commission found that 72 % of women and 82 % of men have access to radio at least once a week, this makes the radio a powerful media channel in promoting equitable participation in electoral processes . The ZEC Gender and Inclusion Policy recognises the importance of media channels in the promotion of gender equality and equitable access to electoral processes”.

A survey conducted during the 2018 harmonised elections also revealed that women’s participation in the electoral process was dismally low.

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