HealthTimes Scribe Scoops Top Spotlight Initiative Media Monitoring Award

HEALTHTIMES Editor, Michael Gwarisa yesterday bagged yet another prestigious award in the Northern Chapter of the Annual Spotlight Initiative Media Monitoring Awards (SAMA) on  Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV), HP and Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) reporting.

By Staff Reporter

The awards were hosted by Musasa Project through support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and sought to recognize journalists that went out of their way in reporting GBV issues as well as bringing all forms of violence and traditional harmful practices to the open.

Gwarisa came out top in the Online and Social Media category for the story he did on how young women and girls in Hopely, a peri-urban community in Harare were being sexually abused at boreholes and water-points in their quest to access water which is a scarce commodity in the area.

Speaking on the award, Gwarisa said it was honor to be recognized by Musasa project and the UNFPA in this year’s edition of the SAMA awards and the recognition of Journalists would go a long way in motivating the reportage of GBV issues in the media

GBV is now being termed a silent pandemic because this is something that happens behind locked doors and no one is keen on talking about it in the open. It is now up to us as Journalists to increase our reportage of GBV and harmful practices issues. We have a role to play in ending this pandemic called GBV through giving survivors a voice and letting their stories known out there.

“Let me thank Musasa project and the UNFPA for this gesture and by appreciating us as Journalist, we are likely to see an improvement in the quality and quantity of stories tackling GBV and all forms of violence in the media in the coming years,” said Gwarisa

Some of the winners at the SAMA Awards on GBV include Moses Mugugunyeki (The Standard), Muchaneta Chimuka (Kwayedza), Fairstars Mukungurutse (ZBC), Debra Matabvu (Sunday Mail) Walter Chari (ZBC) and Fadzai Maposa from the Zimbabwe Family Planning Council ( ZNFPC).

Musasa Project Executive Director, Precious Taru

Musasa Project  Executive Director, Precious Taru said  “The Media plays a pivotal role in the GBV response and they are a key stakeholder in the fight against Gender Based Violence and all forms of violence.”

Meanwhile, the UNFPA Assistant Representative Ms. Abbigail Msemburi said the media continue to be key in amplifying voices of survivors of GBV.

“It gives me great pleasure to be part of this award ceremony where the media is being recognized for their critical role as watchdogs in monitoring gender based violence and highlighting the need for eliminating Gender Based Violence in Zimbabwe. In our country’s fight against Gender Based Violence the media’s role is very critical in amplifying their nature and voices of the survivors and their stories.

“The media is among the institutions in society that can either perpetuate gender norms and stereotypes or can be an agent of change. Strengthening the representation and the voices and perspectives of women and girls, especially those who face intersecting forms of discrimination, in and through the media, is important to give visibility to the issue through the voices of those most affected and marginalized. It is therefore quite notable that the Spotlight Initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls recognizes the media as a key in efforts to eliminate GBV through these media monitoring awards,” said Ms Msemburi.

She added that under the Spotlight initiative media guidelines have been developed in an effort to help the media report in a responsible and effective manner.

“Some of you colleagues have been part of the media trainings on ethical reporting on Gender Based Violence based on those guidelines developed under the Spotlight. Members of the media, GBV remains a huge problem in Zimbabwe, affecting many women and girls.

“Addressing GBV requires the collective efforts of many stakeholders, including you the media. UNFPA as the lead agency within the UN system in addressing Gender Based Violence has been leading such efforts working with the Government of Zimbabwe and in collaboration with other Spotlight RUNOs.”

According to the Zimbabwe Demographic Health Survey for 2015, violence against women and girls remains a huge problem and at least 1 in every 3 women aged 15-49 having experienced physical violence since the age of 15 & 27% percent of women 15-49 have experienced sexual violence at some point in their lives. The MICS 2019 data indicate a further increase of GBV in the past years, at 39%, with a 4% increase as compared to the 2015 ZDHS data.

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