“You the media, are powerful. You reach millions of people, you have the tools to challenge rigid gender roles and empower both men and women”, remarked Atieno Otieno the County Director of Communications when she joined DW Akademie and two of Kisumu’s esteemed radio stations for the launch of their gender policies.
Sky FM and Radio Lake Victoria on Wednesday made history when they launched their Gender Policies at a ceremony attended by radio journalists from Kisumu, Bungoma, Webuye and Nakuru. The policies are a set of guidelines for the stations to guarantee equal rights and opportunities for all ; tools to advance gender parity in radio programming.
The launch was organized by DW Akademie who are the supporting partners in media development in Kenya.
In attendance, the County Director of Gender and Youth Affairs Ms Adah Omedi said that Gender policy is developed out of the recognition that there still are disparities among men and women in various spheres of life. She announced that the County Government was at an advanced stage in the development of a Sexual Gender Based Violence policy and a Gender mainstreaming policy.
In her remarks, Sigrid Thomsen, DW Akademie’s project lead applauded the two radio stations for fostering an Integrated Policy Agenda which is a big step towards bridging the gender gap.
Also present was the Managing Director of Sky FM, Mr. Daniel Kirathe, Mr. Arthur Okwemba a media consultant for DW Akademie, Association of Media Women in Kenya representative Josephine Wareta, station managers, among other stakeholders.
The policy is in line with the Kenya National Policy on Gender and Development (NPGD), which clearly states that it is the right of women, men, girls and boys to participate in and benefit equally from the development process including appropriate affirmative action at all levels.
“Getting women in front of the camera or the microphone is only half the battle; we also need fundamentally to change the way we interact and the language that we use,” concluded Atieno.