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Women in Media conference addresses challenges by female media practitioners

Written by on April 22, 2024

Co-founder of the Women in Media conference held on Saturday, Limba Mupetami, says the gathering is meant to create a platform where women in the profession can share their experiences and improve their working conditions.

Mupetami says it was heartwarming to see the number of people that turned up, even with the challenges organisers faced on the day.

“Despite the programme being significantly late, it was heartwarming to see the turnout, even with a small entrance fee. It goes to show how much interest and thirst there is for these kinds of engagements,” she says.

Mupetami says the event provides a space to network.

“This platform accords women an opportunity to get to know various women working for different institutions, to get to know and meet those who might be their future employers, to share ideas and opportunities and to learn from one another,” she says.

“I can’t pinpoint what went well and what didn’t. However, the platform is there to get more industry leaders interested in our mentorship and outreach programmes and in ways in which they can help,” says Mupetami, adding that the organisation can only hope for a bigger and better event next year.

One of the speakers at the event, journalist Shelleygen Petersen, says there are a range of issues women face in the media industry, including harassment, salary discrepancies and a lack of women representation in senior positions.

Petersen says due to the narture of their work, journalists should take care of their mental health, as some have resorted to alcohol to cope with what they see in their field of work.

“There is a failure to adequately address the impact of journalism on mental health. The Unesco-International Centre for Journalists survey revealed very low levels of access to practical or psychological support within news organisations for targeted journalists,” she says.

“As a journalist, you are not accorded time to digest situations. You can come from a scene where you saw dead bodies and your editor will not even sit you down so you can cope with what you saw. You just write the story and move on to the next one,” Petersen said.

She says there is also a mentorship gap, as many journalists leave the profession for better opportunities.

“With the large number of experienced journalists leaving or told to leave the newsrooms, there is a gap of mentorship among veteran and young journalists,” Petersen says.

Nedbank Namibia communication and public relations manager Selma Kaulinge says Nedbank has been sponsoring the event for the last four years.

“I think it’s very important for us as a corporation to represent ourselves in spaces such as this. The media is something that affects every Namibian, because they are the ones that give information out to the rest of the country,” she said.

Kaulinge said the biggest takeaway from the event was the amount of people that attended, proving that there is a need for such spaces.

“I think a platform where women can share their same experiences and network in such a way is very important,” she said.

The post Women in Media conference addresses challenges by female media practitioners appeared first on The Namibian.

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