How ‘Data Journalism’ impacts women

ZANZIBAR: THE night of Saturday 9th March 2024 was another great day for journalists and women rights activists when they gathered to celebrate the colourful 3rd Champion Data Journalism: Women and leadership Awards, where journalists who produced good articles with statistics and promote women leadership were awarded.

The event held at Shaa Hall, Kwamchina-Mwanzo area, also included sharing of experience on how to remove barriers that impede women development.

The barriers include sexual and domestics violence and negative views on women leadership perpetuated by patriarchy.

THE Zanzibar Chief Government Statistician, Mr Salum Kassim Ali (right) hands over a certificate to Asya Mwalim, winner of the print media category at the 3rd Champion Data Journalism: Women and leadership Award 2024, held last Saturday at Shaa Hall, Kwamchina-mwanzo area.

It was agreed that if journalists use their pens properly, they can make a great difference, because their motivation to write more about women issues encourages many women to aspire for leadership roles and also helps to broaden the war against abuse.

After several training workshops to encourage women in leadership followed by media campaign, many women are now attempting or planning to vie for leadership roles in all future elections, thanks to the ‘Strengthening Women-In Leadership (SWIL)’ project supported by the Norwegian Embassy in Tanzania.

SWIL project implemented by the Tanzania Media Women Association (TAMWA)-Zanzibar in collaboration with the Zanzibar Women Lawyers Association (ZAFELA) and Pemba Environment and Gender Advocacy Organisation (PEGAO), aims to increase participation of women in leadership and democratic processes from both local and national level.

Despite the admirable achievements being recorded in promoting women leadership, it was noted at the ‘3rd Champion Data Journalism: Women and leadership Awards 2024’ ceremony last Saturday that journalists still have a lot to do in promoting women leadership and stop all types of upsetting humiliation of women.

“We have been doing well in raising women and children voices in regards to their rights in all aspects, including political rights, but still, we need to strengthen the campaign as many women are still afraid to vie for leadership positions due to male-dominance and negative views on women leadership, while sexual violence and cyber bullying remains a challenge,” speakers at the event pointed out.

Mr Salum Kassim Ali, the Zanzibar Chief Government Statistician said that the number of reported cases of abuse against women and children is disturbing, urging journalists to be innovative and find ways of helping to stop the social menace, “Statistics from the Office of the Chief Government Statistician OCGS)-.

Zanzibar shows that in 2020, a total of 1,360 incidents of abuse were reported, 2021 a total of 1361 incidents while in 2022 the number of reported abuse incidents were 1,366 and last year (2023) the incidents were 1,994,” he explained, adding “The data is shocking, because in January 2024, a total of 1,1760 incidents of abuse of women and children were reported.

Actually, despite the media campaign, the number of abuse is very high. Journalists should continue with the campaign to promote women along with discouraging sexual violence which tarnish the image of our country, Zanzibar,” he explained.

During the colourful event, Mkoani FM community radio was declared the overall winner of the Award, while its journalist, Ms. Amina Masoud Jabir emerged the winner in the social media category for writing stories that promote women in leadership.

Other community radio journalists, Mr. Hassan Hamza Mselem also from Mkoani Community Radio and Ms. Nihifadhi Abdalla Issa from Kati FM won the second and third place respectively.

Ms. Asiya Mwalim Haji from the Zanzibar Leo newspaper emerged winner in the newspapers category due to ELIJAH GEORGE MASAFU Whose photograph is shown is applying to the Minister for Home Affairs for Tanzania citizenship. His nationality at present is KENYAN.

Country of origin KENYA. Employment is PASTOR. Has been in this Country since 2009. His Employers address is P. O. Box 3694 Dodoma.

That any person who knows why citizenship should not be granted to the applicant should send a written and signed statement to the Commissioner General of Immigration, P.O.Box. 512, Dar es salaam.

CITIZENSHIP ORD00017317 ORD00017313 ORD00017316 ORD00017314 ORD00017310 ORD00017308 ORD00017315 ELIJAH GEORGE MASAFU Whose photograph is shown is applying to the Minister for Home Aff airs for Tanzania citizenship.

His nationality at present is KENYAN. Country of origin KENYA. Employment is PASTOR. Has been in this Country since 2009.

His Employers address is P. O. Box 3694 Dodoma. That any person who knows why citizenship should not be granted to the applicant should send a written and signed statement to the Commissioner General of Immigration, P.O.Box. 512, Dar es salaam.

CITIZENSHIP ORD00017317 ORD00017313 ORD00017316 her article describing the obstacle of sexual corruption faced by women who run for political positions.

Ms Asiya Hassan and Ms Zuhura Juma, both from Zanzibar Leo, took second and third place respectively. In the Radio category, Ms Huwaida Nassor Mohammed from Assalaam FM won the award while Mr Jecha Simai (ZBC) and Ms Rehema Juma also from Assalaam FM were the second and third place respectively.

For bloggers, Ms Amina Ahmed and Ms Zuhura Juma both from the ‘Pemba-Today blog’ competed for the award where Zuhura emerged the winner, and according to the organisers, the Television category had no competitors.

Winners were also presented with appreciation certificates and 1m/-, the second received a certificate and 500,000/- and third winners walked away with a certificate and 300,000/-.

Earlier, speaking at the event, the TAMWA-Zanzibar Director, Dr Mzuri Issa Ali, said the annual award has helped raise the standards of writing and include women issues among priorities for the journalists.

She explained that a total of 525 works from various media houses were submitted to compete for the award in 2023, among which eleven were selected the best by the panel of judges.

“When we see the issues of women and leadership being written by young journalists, it is obvious that it makes changes by encouraging women to stand firm in elections,” said Dr Mzuri.

Mr Haji Nassor Mohammed who spoke on behalf of his fellow judges, mentioned some challenges, including low level of professionalism in writing and lack of statistics.

The guest of honour at the award ceremony was the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of State- Office of the President (Labour, Economy and Investment), Ms Mariam Abdalla Sadalla, who commended the organisers and the winners, urging writers to continue being the voice of the voiceless by using their pens to promote women.

“I have been impressed by the theme, ‘My pen is my contribution to women.’ Make the best use of it while considering national interest, ethics and mutual justice,” she emphasised.

The Zanzibar Chief Government Statistician Mr Salum Kassim Ali, Mr Hijja Suleiman who represented the German GIZ organisation and Mr Yussuf Suleiman from Zanzibar Anticorruption and Economic Crimes Authority (ZAECA), at separate occasions urged journalists to double their efforts against all forms of corruption, violence and to promote women leadership.

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