Dr Mzuri Issa, Tamwa Zanzibar Director made the call here when officiating a one-day media training which aimed to capacitate them more on gender issues.
According to her, it is the media that have a very important role in pushing the country to the next level of development if they will prioritise reporting in women issues.
She said that accurate reporting of women issues will also enable leaders to make decisions and improvements so as to empower the group.
“Media people have a great responsibility to change the society due to their daily work, so they have to make sure that they fight oppression and any kind of violence through writing and reporting,”
Dr Mzuri further said having a third eye as a journalist is crucial because this will enable him/her to focus on social issues especially those which affect the community including Gender Based Violence (GBV).
“There are some people in the society who still have negative perceptions towards women, they see them as people who are unable to engage in economic activities, they just want women to stay home and wait for their husbands, this perception should be eradicated,” Dr Mzuri insisted.
She said that women carry huge potential in their lives but because of misconceptions, they fail to realise them, a situation which journalists could help to address if they invest in continued reporting.
On leadership, Dr Mzuri said that many women have awareness and they participated to compete for various leadership positions but the major challenge remains to the society to accept them.
“Majority of women fail to pass in the referendum process but they tried their level best to vie for various positions in this year’s election. Women also have legal rights to vie for any leadership position from grassroots to national level, but a lot has to be done to change people’s mindsets towards women,” she added.
She said the major objective of the training was to impart knowledge and skills to the journalists so as to enable them speak up about women issues for the country’s development.
Earlier, one of the presenters, Hawa Shamte also hinted on the note wanting journalists to protect women’s interests through their reporting.
“There are a number of opportunities which women may grab but they are unaware of them because journalists do not give the issues much coverage,” she noted.
Salum Vuai, one of the participants said that they are going to work hard to ensure that they increase coverage on women's issues.