The Association of Media Women in Kenya, AMWIK, is a national media association whose overall concern is to promote and represent interests of women in the media and women in general, particularly in as far as the media portrays them and in their efforts to participate equally in national development. The association was started in 1983 with the prime desire to promote the interests and advancement of women in the media. The organization is apolitical and is run on a voluntary basis by members who also work in various media houses in the country. The membership of sixty, is drawn from women professionals in the print, electronic, advertising and public relations. MISSION To use the media to promote the status of women in general, and to address the concerns of media women in particular, through various projects. OBJECTIVES To organise and unite media women professionals in fellowship and link them with other similar organizations elsewhere.
To advance their interests in the profession and promote their understanding of the media profession. To promote the exchange of technical knowledge and professional expertise through the association. To promote training and job opportunities through scholarships, on-the-job guidance, lectures at girls schools and other institutions. To promote understanding of issues through the media as they affect women. OTHER PROGRAMMES Gender Training for Journalists: This has been going on since 1997 and aims at making coverage of women more gender sensitive.
Response and interest generated by this training has shown the great need to continue with it. Journalists proposed both training of other journalists and editors so both men and women can get fair coverage. CIDA's Gender Equity Support project and British Council sponsored this project. Training on Business Writing: This was necessitated by the realisation that women journalists are not involved in the coverage of business / economic issues. The objectives therefore were, to interest women journalists in the issues and encourage them to venture into this area.
Women journalists proposed the need to continue the programme in order to equip them further. Nairobi Stock Exchange, NSE and British Council sponsored it. Media Monitoring: The project aims at monitoring how the media covers women in an effort to use the data for advocacy and change. The association has carried out a monitoring exercise in the coverage of violence against women. It intends to make it a regular exercise. It is supported by UN fund for women, UNIFEM.
Research: The project has been going on since 1997 and aims at building relevant data on media in Kenya and coverage of issues. It aims at a resource centre. Training women on the effective use of the media: This project aims at equipping women with skills and knowledge of how to use the media. It has been necessitated by the realisation that women (leaders) do not access the media partly because they do not understand how to use it. This training will be AMWIK's capacity building project for women on the gender learning network.
Linkages with young girls club members: This project aims at interesting more girls to join journalism. This will help to increase more women in the media houses and ultimately help to balance opinion and representation of women in the media Media Strategy: AMWIK is involved in the establishments of a media strategy for the Women's Political Caucus in the Constitutional Review Commission. AMWIK's role is to help with the media planning / strategising the coverage and participation of women in the constitutional making in Kenya. Media Dialogue/Discussions with Editors: This is to interest editors in the various issues concerning women's representation in the media.
Capacity Building: AMWIK has planned on the training of members professionally and on gender aspects. It also aspires to strengthen the office structure to enable effective participation. Organisational Structure: The Chairperson heads the association with the help of officials and executive committee. Projects are run on voluntary basis through various committees. Strengths: Professional media expertise in print, electronic, Public Relations and other media related matters, gender.
It has a national representation. Human Resources/Personnel: One employee who assists in the running of the office. Assets: Computer / printer /office space. Sources of Funding: Membership fees, fundraising activities, and donations. Implementation Constraints: Lack of adequate resources (financial / human ): Need professional personnel and financial resources to implement projects and to run activities Lack of training in management, leadership, gender and other areas. Future Activities: Expansion of on-going projects.
More involvement and linkages with other women's organisations Fundraising Training of journalists on specialised areas. Networking.