Woman journalists across Africa are being invited to join a network which aims to achieve better coverage of initiatives led by women and children and of the issues that affect them.
The ‘Women in Media Network’ is the brainchild of the civil society trust formed by Graça Machel, the advocate for women’s and children's rights, former Mozambican cabinet minister and leader of United Nations initiatives on development and the effects of armed conflict on children.
Announcing the network, Mrs. Machel said: "We need to give more space in media for women to tell their own stories in their own way and to include the views expressed by the children of Africa.”
Initially 30 to 40 women from countries in East, West, Central and Southern Africa will be invited to join the network. The trust said it had identified women ‘considered to be media influencers in their own right and enjoy a large social and traditional media footprint and legacy’ as inaugural members.
The network's advisory board is co-chaired by Susan Makore, CEO of AB Communications in Zimbabwe, and Bronwyn Nielsen, Editor-in-Chief of CNBC Africa. Other media groups represented on the board include East Africa's Nation Group, IRIN and Fraternité Matin of Cote d'Ivoire.
“Women and children’s issues have tended to make headlines more as victims that are helpless, abused and exploited," said Ms. Makore. "Yet women and children have over time been capable of so much more, having overcome many obstacles and excelled in many sectors of the economy and society. Their amazing stories need to find more expression in our media."
The new network is the latest of a number established by the Graça Machel Trust. Others are focused on building the role of women in African economies and include networks of women in business and agriculture.