The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) has issued a statement condemning the use of derogatory language that support acts of Gender Based Violence (GBV) on media platforms.
The statement sent to newsrooms today said that such language used on both mainstream and social media, condemning survivors of GVB is unacceptable.
According to the alliance, it is possible to maintain decency and respect in a democratic space where freedom of speech is encouraged and as such there must be accountability and uphold professionalism as well as respect for human dignity.
The statement was issued following an incident where Homeboyz Radio allegedly made derogatory remarks to a victim of GBV, with KEPSA asserting that any form of violence against men or women is a violation of human rights.
KEPSA Chairperson Mr. Nik Nesbitt observed that the remarks made on air were, by all means, were insensitive and undermining to the victims of GBV – specifically to women and girls.
“This kind of insulting and improper language on mainstream media is unconscionable,” he said, adding that the alliance runs a program on mitigating GBV against women and girls, and an initiative on ‘Men in Silence’ to curb GBV against men.
Nesbitt was referring to ‘offensive’ remarks made by show presenters Shaffie Weru, Neville, and DJ Joe Mfalme about one Eunice Wangari, 20, who was reportedly thrown from the 12th floor of a building by a man after refusing his sexual advances.
KEPSA Director in charge of Gender and Governance Ms. Catherine Musakali on her part stated that misogyny has no place in Kenya in this day and age, asserting that As the Women on Boards Network, they advocate for a society where both men and women feel valued and supported to contribute to the socio-economic growth of this country.
“Every woman should feel protected and empowered. As a country we owe this to every girl and woman,” she added, stating that actions set by the Communications Authority and particularly the corrective measures that will ensure that staff are trained on handling gender matters beyond this unfortunate incident
The alliance is also proposing implementation of a gender-based policy that will be used as a blueprint for training media practitioners with an aim to promote responsible reporting on gender sensitive matters.
“As a membership organisation, with media companies in its membership, KEPSA said it continues to encourage zero-tolerance to GBV with full recognition of the role that media plays in shaping societal behaviour coupled with the mandate of the Private Sector in gender equality and women empowerment,” read the statement in part.
KEPSA Advisor, Mr. Mike Eldon noted that the incident revealed the need to educate the society more on gender parity issues.
“The big challenge always with such education is to go beyond mere awareness raising to attitude and finally behaviour change,” he said.
The trio has since been sacked with KEPSA further stating that it supports Communications Authority for imposing a six-month suspension of the station’s morning breakfast show until the station complies with regulatory requirements.
The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has also fined Radio Africa’s Homeboyz Radio Shs 1 million for the derogatory comments about women its presenters made on March 25 on its morning show Lift-Off.
By Alice Gworo