MISA announces their Women to Watch in 2014

WINDHOEK; The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) on Monday announced the first annual ‘MISA’s Women to Watch’ to mark International Women’s Day (IWD).

The day is celebrated around the world on 08 March every year.

A media release issued by MISA on Friday said the institute is honouring 12 dynamic and inspirational southern African women who embody both the official United Nations (UN) theme for IWD 2014 – Equality for women is progress for all – as well as the theme designated by non-governmental organisations around the world, ‘Inspiring change’.

The 12 women are profiled in an electronic magazine available on MISA’s website.

MISA Regional Director Zoe Titus was quoted in the statement as saying they chose women who they see as rising stars in the region, women whose achievements to date are a promise of more great work to come, making them “women to watch”.

“From a beauty queen turned UN communications specialist and an art photographer challenging mainstream ideals of beauty; to a human rights lawyer fighting for freedom of expression, the 12 women profiled in this publication are all contributing, in their own unique and creative ways, to making southern Africa a more conducive environment of media freedom and improving the ability of all people, including the vulnerable and marginalised in our communities to access their right to freedom of expression,” she said.

The 12 “women to watch” include Alisa Amupolo, a technology entrepreneur from Namibia; and Emma Theofelus, a high school student who is the Junior Mayor of the City of Windhoek.

Also included are Ana Margoso, a newspaper journalist from Angola; Chikondi Mphande, a radio journalist from Malawi; Hoyce Temu, a communications specialist and former Miss Tanzania; Jean Chalungama, a radio journalist from Malawi and one of the only female sports journalists in the country.

Also profiled are Tanzanian talk show host Mboni Masima; Mwiza Zulu, a Zambian teenage radio and television presenter; Malawian journalist Nellie Kanyemba; Nontobeko Tshabala, a newspaper journalist from Swaziland; South African human rights lawyer Nyasha Chingore-Munazvo; and Mozambican photographer Salange Dos Santos.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, highlighted the significance of this year’s theme in his annual IWD message, saying countries with more gender equality have better economic growth and companies with more women leaders perform better.

“Peace agreements that include women are more durable. Parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination and child support,” he noted.

Titus added to this that countries with more women in the media have a better chance of reflecting the voices of all members of their populations, of achieving greater participation of women, and providing fair and balanced reporting on women’s issues and rights.