Some female journalists say the Covid-19 pandemic has had a major impact on them compared to their fellow men, but also gives them new insights into how they do their work during extraordinary times.
When Covid-19 flew around the world, and even arrived in Rwanda at the end of March, many Rwandans were surprised to find themselves being asked to quit their jobs, others to continue working at home, or a few to participate but observing prevention measures to weaken the infection and spread the epidemic.
Claudette Musengimana is a journalist for Radio and Television Isango Star, and a journalist who uses YouTube extensively where she is popular in the “Inama y’umunsi” documentary.
“For me, Covid-19’s impact was the lack of funds to meet my daily needs, my inability to participate in work freely, the lack of access to information, fear of being infected or affecting others,” she said.
Claudette also said that the pandemic gave him the opportunity to think about how to defend herself in extraordinary circumstances, as she had the opportunity to learn how to pursue a career in the media without requiring her to go to the field looking for information, she managed it by adopting technology and more.
Kayitesi Jeannette is also a media journalist, working for Radio Salus. She says that while there are no specific challenges she faces as a girls, she testifies that Covid-19 thwarted her goal of expanding her talent in the media because she had a plan to escalate to the next level.
The chairperson of the WMOC, Women Media Owners for Change, finds that the challenge facing female journalists in the Covid-19 era is that the pandemic has found women’s media still relatively new in the process of rebuilding compared to the men’s founded media.
“Most of the women’s magazines don’t last more than five years, so the fact that you’re building up and come across Covid-19 is a great problem to the women’s media. But now, we as Women Media Owners for Change, are looking at how to rise up again backed by our partners. We urge the government and donors to take care of our concerns.”
According to a study by the International Journalist Association, IFJ operates in more than 140 countries around the world, 7.4 percent of women in the media are at risk of losing their jobs and 63 percent of women in the media are at risk of depression and severe fatigue due to Covid-19.