UN Women is implementing the Women’s Leadership and Political Participation Project (WLPP), Wanawake Wanaweza Phase II (2018 – 2022). The Wanawake Wanaweza project is in line with UN Women Strategic Plan 2018 – 2021 as well as the National Gender and Development Policy, the SDGs, CEDAW and other international and regional commitments, such as the African Union Agenda 2063. One of the project’s component aim at transforming gender norms so that women are accepted as legitimate and effective leaders including through capacity strengthening of the media and development of campaigns that sensitize the media and the general public on the need for women in public life at all levels.
The significant role of the media in influencing opinions and shaping important discourse that affects society is undisputed. As a trusted source of information, and with the ability to reach a large number of people, the media shapes perceptions and consequently the culture and its beliefs and entrenched norms. A 2016 report by BBC Media Action in Tanzania showed that gender responsive media programming on issues of governance and leadership led to increased political knowledge among both women and men, and increased women’s political participation. Furthermore, the programming resulted in changes in men’s perceptions on whether women can play a role in politics. Thus, for women to access equal opportunities in political spaces, they need to be given equal coverage and be featured in key national issues in the news media. Yet, according to the UN Women Gender and Media Handbook Tanzania, news stories are still dominated by a masculine narrative, reflecting gender biases where serious news with social or political significance is associated with men, and less serious topics are associated with women.
In this regard, UN Women in partnership with UNESCO aims to equip the media with the necessary skills to shift current practice and to ensure gender responsive media coverage of women in politics. To achieve this, UN Women is seeking the services of a national gender and media specialist with extensive years of experience in training and developing training materials. The expert will work closely with an international consultant in the development of the tools.