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WANIFRA empowers women in the media



Over 30 female journalists in leadership positions attended this year’s World’s Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WANIFRA) Women In News course last week in Johannesburg.

The gesture is a partnership with the School of Journalism at Wits University in South Africa. Under the arrangement, female journalists in leadership positions and those aspiring to be leaders attended one week training at the beginning of the programme. The second week of the training will be conducted towards the end of the programme.

There are take home assignments and workplace assignments that need to be taken as part of the certification. The course introduces the participants to management principles, finance for finance managers, people management, marketing and advertising, research and new technology, strategic planning and governance.

The theoretical principles are presented in the context of how they apply to the effective management of media organisations. Meanwhile women that attended the first leg of the training were empowered to be bold and resilient in their journalism career.

Co-founder of Jozi FM Kanyi Mkhonza came up with the notion of ‘Own it,’ under which she encouraged women to stamp their authority and to set up their own culture at work. She also taught on Design Team Agreement, under which she questioned the kind of atmosphere that managers want to create in their places of work. Among some of the human resource principles, Mkhonza encouraged leaders to share information and responsibilities, identify potential, coach and mentor talent, reward staff and handle confrontations maturely.

Mail and Guardian founding Editor Anton Harber encouraged women to take risks. “Success stories have an element of failure in them. Admit your mistakes and move on,” he said. Paul Fray, managing director of Fray Intermedia encouraged women to embrace the simple style of writing, saying it is the best. Editor of Moneyweb Holdings Ryk Van Niekerk said newsrooms must have a budget and that managers should only keep the best people.

In an interview with The Midweek Sun, chief Sub-editor of The Star newspaper in Kenya, Wanjiru Kinoti said she had learned that gender is not a standard issue, but rather pervasive. She said that almost every issue in news has a gender dimension. “For instance, transport is a gender issue. The lack of a good, reliable and safe public transport system can restrict women’s movements and activities and hence hamper their contribution to the economy,” she said.

Bureau chief of Mwananchi Communications in Tanzania Sharon Sauva, said she had learned how to manage people. “Before, managing people was a big issue for me because companies always give people positions without any training on people management,” she said.

WANIFRA is a global organisation of the world’s newspapers and news publishers, representing more than 18 000 publications, 15 000 online sites and over 3000 companies in more than 120 countries. It exists to promote media freedom and the economic independence of news media as an essential condition of that freedom.

Women In News works with newspapers and their high potential female employees to overcome the gender gap in management and senior editorial positions.

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Botswana urged to sign Maputo

Keletso Thobega



Botswana is one of the five countries that have been advised to sign the Maputo Protocol. Botswana, Egypt and Morocco are the only three African countries that have not signed this Protocol. Adopted in 2003 and implemented in 2005, the Maputo Protocol is a ground-breaking protocol on women and girls’ human rights, both within Africa and beyond.

It compensates for the shortcomings in the 1981 African Charter with respect to women and girls rights. It includes 32 articles on women and girls’ rights, and also provides an explicit definition of discrimination against women, which was missing in the African Charter.

The Maputo Protocol defines discrimination as “any distinction, exclusion or restriction or any differential treatment based on sex and whose objectives or effects compromise or destroy the recognition, enjoyment or the exercise by women, regardless of their marital status, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in all spheres of life.”

The State of African Women Report 2018 stipulates that more still needs to be done to implement laws and commitments to the rights of women and girls in African societies. While there has been significant improvements in addressing issues affecting women and girls over the years, the report notes that commitment to girls and women’s right is still lagging behind.

The report highlights that:
“Three in five countries in Africa do not criminalise rape, young women aged 15-24 in sub-Saharan Africa are 2.5 times more likely to be infected by HIV in comparison to men in the same age group, more than half of maternal deaths worldwide occur in sub-Saharan Africa and that gender based violence and sexual assault still affects women more”.

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Mama Rampa, the Good

Yvonne Mooka



NOBLE CALLING: Martha Rampa on a mission to rescue the underprivileged

Martha Rampa, project manager at AAP Home Based Care and Family Life Programme quit her nursing job over ten years ago to attend to the needs of orphans, poor and sick.

AAP has 3119 orphans and underprivileged children from South East, Kweneng, Kanye and Kgalagadi districts. The Non-Governmental Organisation aims at supporting, providing food, clothing, shelter, education, nursing care, counselling and supporting destitute, terminally ill patients and orphaned children.

According to Rampa, the thrust of the practice is the link between the patient and the clinical management services. “It is a person-centred approach, which ensures that patients receive the appropriate service in a supportive and effective manner. Destitute and orphaned children have over time become integral part AAP programmes,” she said.

Last Saturday, she organised an appreciation dinner for donors. It was a colourful event where beneficiaries had also come to testify about the way their lives have changed since they were enrolled.

One of the young girls said that she had given up on life as she was from a poor family. The under 15 girl said that through AAP, she managed to continue and is exceling at school. A young man under 20 said that he was moved from a settlement where he could not focus on his studies because of his family background.

AAP put him through a different school that has boarding. “At AAP, we call her mama Rampa. She is our mother and we are so blessed to have her,” he said at the event in Gaborone.

The primary aim of AAP is to rehabilitate and develop children in difficult circumstances such as orphaned children, street children, economically poor and socially oppressed children and work for the eradication of child labour and child exploitation.

Rampa said the vision is to help and give many more children a real and loving home which helps them to live and grow up to be free, healthy and independent individuals; to influence behavioural change of individuals, especially those in the realm of sex and family life and to introduce a change that will bring a transformation, which alleviates the impact of HIV/Aids infection and stops the spread of the virus within the community.

She said there were local companies that had committed themselves to giving the children food after every two weeks. Through her gift of counselling, she also assists with providing emotional and spiritual support including counselling to orphans, destitute, terminally ill and the poor. She also prays for them.

She said that since the project started in 2000, the focus was on the care of HIV/AIDS patients. Volunteers were trained to take care of terminally ill patients in their homes. “Due to lack of funds in supporting the volunteers, for three years only 45 were full time serving in the project with great results.

“A networking relationship was established with Ministry of Health/AIDS department and Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs as well as other NGOs like BOCAIP, Clinics around Gaborone and Church leaders. We effectively communicated our mission to our leaders like Counsellors, Members of Parliament and diKgosi in the areas where we are operating,” she said.

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