Media critical in exposing intolerance against marginalised communities

By Fungai Jachi

THE media has been described as a critical tool in the quest to expose all forms of intolerance and phobia against marginalised communities.

The Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa has challenged media practitioners to address issues of intolerance and foster knowledge that helps eradicate all forms of phobia.

Speaking at the inaugural annual conference on media against phobias in Harare this Wednesday, Senator Mutsvangwa noted the need for the media to deepen its recognition of all those who have been marginalised socially and politically to facilitate their inclusion in relevant public and private spaces.

“Coming on to the politics of distribution I also recognise that we have a long way before we come up with technicalpl social and policy-related strategies in economic production and distribution,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

“Many times societies relate to marginalised social groups like consumers and hardly as producers and distributors of economic and material goods. I think discourses on combating phobias and intolerance may never be complete until we address inequalities that marginalise certain identities in the production and distribution of economic and material goods.

“At our political level that’s why our Head of State, Dr Emmerson Mnangagwa emphasises that we should not leave anyone and any place behind. This speaks to inclusion, equity and fairness. I am therefore hoping that some of the paper presentations and panel discussions will explore how the media should address the politics of recognition and distribution as a strategy in combating phobias.”

Albino Charity Organisation of Zimbabwe Executive Director, Loveness Mainoti said the media has a long way to go in addressing phobias associated with people with disabilities and women.

“The media is trying to expose the challenges that persons with disabilities go through but a lot more can be done because most people still do not understand that persons with disabilities also have a part to play in the development of this country. So the media should do more to expose such issues,” said Mainoti.

Inclusivity is one of the core values of the Second Republic with several initiatives having been put in place to assist women and persons with disabilities.

One of the major milestones is the enactment of the Disability Policy of June 2021, which seeks to address the marginalisation and discrimination of persons with disabillities, empower them to improve their livelihoods and contribute to the national development agenda.

The Women’s Microfinance Bank and other various empowerment projects have also changed women’s lives for the better across the country.