Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare says the media can play a crucial role in curbing gender-related problems rocking the country today.
Speaking during a daylong training workshop for journalists on gender related laws, the ministry’s principal secretary Mary Shawa noted that countries that have attained gender equality have experienced fast economic growth.
She said: “Malawi would want to reach the levels of countries like Finland, Norway and Sweden, where gender equality has been reached.
“In Africa, we can talk of Rwanda where there is gender equality and their Parliament has more women than men. Their economic growth, too, is rapid despite having been at war in the recent past.
“We do not have any excuse in Malawi because we have the resources, the land is fertile and everything is available.”
Shawa observed that the media is a major communications tool in the country as most rural Malawians who cannot read and write get information through the media.
“On laws that promote gender equality and empowerment of women, we need to be very accurate, otherwise the public will get wrong information,” she said.
In his remarks, Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Malawi Chapter chairperson Thom Khanje agreed that a gender-sensitive media is a catalyst for development considering that the media is influential in shaping the thinking and actions of people in communities.
“As Misa Malawi, promoting gender within the media is one of our main areas of focus. We would like to sensitise media owners to the importance of having more women in the media,” he said.