It is a heartening sight to witness the transfer of wisdom from one generation to the other. This was the case when media mogul, Beata Kasale partnered with Genderlinks Botswana to train the media on different aspects of gender mainstreaming in the media industry.
At a recent workshop on Opinion and Commentary, Ms Kasale drummed it into the attendants that it was imperative for them to take themselves seriously and not disregard important things like being on time, producing well researched and meticulous material as well as the power of networking.
The core objective of the two day workshop was to introduce, identify and groom both male and female reporters within various media houses to write on Gender opinion and commentary. It was also intended to illustrate how ‘Think Pieces and analysis’ on all news issues can be written from a gender perspective.
The country manager for Genderlinks Botswana Ms Gomolemo Rasesigo indicated in her welcome remarks that despite the fact that their organisation has evolved and involved more tenets of society, their cornerstone remains the media which is what their foundation and progression was built on. “At Gender Links, as much as it looks like we have forgotten the media, media is actually our root because when Gender Links started in 2001 it focused on media work before we started expanding into other areas. Even those areas that we have expanded to such as Centers of Excellence work with our local councils, we still need the media to cover the work that people are doing at local level to mainstream gender,” she said.
Rasesigo further pointed out the various activities on their calendar in regards to the gender agenda, citing some of the upcoming 16 days activism against gender based violence, and the publication titled ‘I Stories’ which featured heart wrenching stories of real life stories of victims of gender based violence which occurred right here in Botswana. Rasesigo also stated that, “67% according to the study that we did, is of women in our country that have gone through abuse at one point in time in their lives and we need people to be saying something because if we keep quiet it is like we are just sweeping it under the carpet“.
Media practitioners are strategically positioned in their respective forums to make the public aware of such atrocious acts against humanity through gender based violence. With the right information and proper training on reporting these sensitive issues, the media can bring about a significant decline in Gender Based violence and inform the public on how to tackle such situations and ultimately get out of them.
Inspired, eye opened, informed were just a few of the words used to describe the workshop by the troupe of journalists who took part in the workshop.