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Veni Swai, a Program Officer at Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.


Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom empowering women in media

NAIROBI, Kenya May 21 – Nairobi is set to become the global partnership hub for the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF), an independent German organization that promotes liberal policies and politics mostly emphasizing on freedom.

According to Veni Swai, Programme Officer at Friedrich Naumann Foundation, the global hub is set to formulate innovative and evidence-based development policies that are introduced into the public and political discourse globally.

Veni says the aim of this hub is to support people in seizing opportunities, thereby enabling them to take responsibility for their own lives and to the people and strengthening of their freedom are at the Centre of this policy. People and the strengthening of their freedom are at the center of this policy.

‘‘This is why the hub in Nairobi will focus on the most important, but at the same time still insufficiently recognized, bearers of development potential who are women’’, said Veni.
Veni says their core agenda is to emphasize on freedom and bringing individuals.
“If you are free you will be able to decide how you take your life, you’ll be passionate and anything you want to do starts with you”, she said

FNF has already started a project to empower women known as Women in Media.

In April April, FNF hosted the second cohort of Women In Media in Tanzania and Kenya under the theme Developing Purpose Driven Female Journalists workshop. A team of 15 female journalists attended the workshop for capacity-building.
“The first cohort we had 9 women from Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Senegal while this one we have women from both Kenya and Tanzania,” said Veni.

Why women in media?

Veni says the idea started during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A lot of journalists lost their jobs and did not have a place to go to. This forced us to start what we call a media platform for journalists to talk, journalists from different countries. They could talk about what they are going through and strategize how they could continue working regardless of the Pandemic,” she added.

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Veni notes that it is from this project which include men and women where they realized they had few women and one of the recommendations from the group was a suggestion to bring more women on board.

“They felt that women were not given opportunities in media houses and they called it ‘ media houses men’s club’ and that is how we realized we needed to do something about that,” she added.

What does Women In Media do?

Veni says through this program, FNF builds courage among female journalists for them to claim their position as equal contributors.

“The project took us eight weeks because it was a virtual workshop but the progress started to be seen immediately after the ladies understood their position, what they had and did not utilize. We have seen a lot of changes; we have seen some of them get awards, promotions and others able to mentor other journalists. To us this is a big progress, for us, one person whois getting skill, we use them as multipliers’’, Veni said.
In dealing with women, veni says strengthening their economic rights has a multiplier effect and they examine all measures from a gender perspective, and women are always treated as the primary target group.


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