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Women quitting newsrooms because of sexual harassment – report finds

(Last Updated On: 1 August 2023)

At least 80 per cent of the female journalists in African newsrooms have undergone either verbal or physical sexual harassment. 

A report conducted by WAN IFRA/Women in News released on Friday, February 10, 2023, during the WIN Alumnae Conference Integrated Dialogue in Kampala shows.

Further, the WIN online survey indicates that in Uganda, 30.9 per cent of male journalists also suffer sexual harassment. 

The same findings indicate that only 40 per cent of both male and female journalists know about the sexual harassment policy; 38.2 per cent aren’t aware of what exactly it is, while only 21.8 per cent have full knowledge of the policy.

Uganda’s Employment Sexual Harassment Regulations (ESHR) states that an employer with more than twenty-five employees shall adopt a written policy against sexual harassment which includes a notice to employees that sexual harassment is unlawful; a statement of consequences for employees who are found to have committed sexual harassment.

The ESHR also requires employers to offer education and training programs on sexual harassment for all employees regularly.

Jane Godia, the Deputy Executive Director of Women in News wants the government to ensure that the policy that encourages equality of women trickled down to other sectors.

“Many women like it has been said are coming into the news organization and leaving because of sexual harassment but when we have gender equality policies, sexual harassment policies, when this affirmative action is brought down to all levels, where employment is being done, where people are being recruited and organizations made to follow, then we will have women in leadership and the many issues will be handled,” she said, giving attributes to Minister for Karamoja Affairs Dr Mary Goretti Kitutu who tasked Women to be economically independent.

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WIN officials pose for a photo with Minister for Karamoja Affairs Dr Mary Goretti Kitutu (Second Right) who represented the Prime minister and was the Keynote speaker.

She urges the journalists to use the tools that they are being introduced to mitigate measures of making money out of them.

State Minister for ICT, Joyce Nabossa Ssebugwawo applauds WIN for the Accelerator Program that has seen 72 Ugandan Journalists trained and their capacity built in various media fields.

The Minister also appealed to ladies not to shy away from bringing the perpetrators of sexual harassment to book so that they can be dealt with accordingly.

According to a survey made in eight African countries, Uganda is ranked 5th with an average prevalence of almost 60 per cent of female journalists sexually abused in their newsrooms.

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A section of WIN (Women In News) Alumnae pose for a photo with their Coaches.

Women In News is a media development program of the World Association of News Publishers.

It works with 80 media organizations from 15 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Southern East.

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