In a drive meant to promote gender equality in the media, the U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe is supporting the inagural “ladies night” Friday at the Harare Quill Club, a premier meeting place for journalists in the country.
The event is meant to allow women journalists to discuss issues that affect them in the country's newsrooms and related issues.
The U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section says the program is part of a year-long mentoring program for young women journalists to help improve their reporting skills and prepare them for decision-making positions within the media.
“The Quill Club is an institution in Harare and we are eager to see the women journalists have their say there,” says Sharon Hudson-Dean, counselor at the U.S. Embassy.
“This ladies night is part of Women’s History Month and will include a panel discussion of gender in the media. It is also part of our year-long mentoring program for young women journalists to help them improve their reporting skills and take on higher-level responsibilities in their professional work.”
The mentorship program is run by the U.S. embassy in partnership with the Humanitarian Information Facilitation Centre, a localy based non governmental organization. Fifteen young female journalists were under the program matched with 15 veteran journalists to mentor them for twelve months.
“We want to break the myth that the Quill Club is mainly for male scribes, we would like to encourage more females to participate in discussions with business, political and civil society representatives that are hosted regularty at this venue,” Hudson-Dean said.
The mentoring program is open to female journalists from both the state and private media, including freelancers.
Hudson-Dean told VOA's Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye her office is eager to see more female journalists taking up top decision-making positions that previously have been dominated by male journalists in the country.
Freelance photo-journalist Angela Jimu, a beneficiary of the mentoring program, says she has benefited a lot from being partnered with a senior scribe, allowing her to develop better writing and leadership skills.