From her personal experience in working for both public and private radio stations as well as various civil society organizations for the past 12 years, Bhebhe is certain that the surest and quickest way to liberate women from attitudes and circumstances that tightly circumscribe their control over their own lives is to empower them with information and give them a platform to express themselves.
With such empowerment, she is confident that women will assume new roles in society and gain access to opportunities in areas such education, marriage, health and other important aspects of their lives.
In order to realize this dream, Bhebhe founded a woman’s development media institution called the Women’s Media for Development Foundation (WMDF) in 2010.
“My years of experience in the media and civil society have taught me that women’s development issues are not being taken seriously by our media. The role of WMDF is to ensure that women stories are frequently and accurately told in the media as much as possible in order to bring about positive change in society’s attitude to women’s issues and their role in development,” said Bhebhe, who is the director of the organization.
Bhebhe said WMDF, whose membership is exclusively female media practitioners, also works hand-in-hand with other women’s empowerment organizations such as Zimrights, Sexual Rights Centre and the National Youth Development Trust (NYDT).
The foundation currently a 50 female media student members and 30 practicing journalist members drawn from the country’s southern region.
“We work with all development groups to ensure that women are given the same platform in the media as men. Our analysis of the local media has clearly shown that women’s voices are not amplified in the media. In most cases women are portrayed in a negative light. They are hardly given the opportunity to comment on economic and social issues affecting our society.We need more stories that cover development issues from a woman’s perspective,” she said.
Bhebhe said her organization was also involved in lobbying for the establishment of community radio stations. “As women we believe the panacea to our plight is a pluralist and diverse media that provides a platform for skills development for women. Community stations play that role effectively because they are closer to the people. Women should also be heavily involved in the running of these community radio stations,” said Bhebhe.Post published in: News