2015 Sadc Gender Protocol Summit and Awards Centres of Excellence- Capital Fm Radio

2015 Sadc Gender Protocol Summit and Awards Centres of Excellence- Capital Fm Radio


This award recognises progress in mainstreaming gender in the Media Centres of Excellence. Use this form to do your institutional profile as part of your application process. The application must be accompanied by evidence to support all application form.


Presenter / Wezi / Nyirongo
Who you represent / Capital Radio / Editor
Sex (tick) / Female
Country / Malawi
E Mail /
Cell phone / 265 888 305 157

Please fill in progress on your scorecard from last year, and update the evidence. Judges will assess the progress you have made. Their score will be final.

Please upload your completed score card on the online application in the section called supporting documentation. Please name your score card as follows mediahousename _country_scorecard_your initials_date.

Please use this section to upload evidence that goes with your scorecard*

Policy framework / EG Gender policy
Workplace / Eg Gender action plan
Editorial practise / EG Editorial guidelines with gender and diversity considerations mainstreamed; articles, publications, productions.
Advertising and marketing / EG Gender aware adverts
Management systems, monitoring and evaluation / EG Minutes of Board and Management; Gender committee; Editorial Planning meetings where gender is mentioned.

Resource mobilisation for work on gender equality

Amount local currency (specify) / Amount in Rand
Gender specific allocation – please state the names of the projects / Free Venue, Airtime for jingles and programming.
Gender in mainstream projects (please specify)
In kind contributions to the COE process – eg venues (please specify) / Free Venue, Airtime for jingles and programming.
Funds raised from donors or the private sector for gender work – (please specify) / One million kwacha from NGO GCN for the 50-50 programme on women candidates during the 2014 tripartite polls.

Baseline (2011) / Progress – 1 – (2013) / Progress – 2 – (2014) / Progress -
3 (2015)
% women overall
% women on the Board
% women in management
% women sources
Score card

Quote *

The change has not come easy. Management faces a number of in-house challenges in getting staff to take a stance, “We are constantly having to push staff to tackle hard topics, trying to get presenters to engage with these issues, because it’s not just up at the newsroom, it’s up to DJs and presenters too, explains Arlene Grimes, the operations and marketing manager.

Synopsis/ background*

Just a year after the launch of Capital FM in Blantyre, Malawi’s economic metropolis, the Gender Links team who was conducting research on the representation of women in the media paid a visit to Station Manager Al Osman. At this stage, men dominated Capital Radio’s newsroom and the gender equity ratio was at a dismal low. After realising the reality of a highly unequal media house, Capital FM committed itself to a drastic turn around, becoming one of the signatories to the COE program that requires a 50% representation of women in management positions as well as holistic gender mainstreaming within all departments.

Capital FM’s improvements in gender mainstreaming are recognised at an internal level and equally at an external level, being a primary producer and disseminator of knowledge, information and entertainment that informs the Malawian populace. From advertising to news, programing to PSA’s, Capital FM has given precedence to the voices of women and dedicated a commendable proportion of airtime to issues that affect the lives of women and gender.

Key activities *

In contribution to addressing gender mainstreaming challenges, Capital radio is developing new programmes on women’s empowerment such as Amayi Tikuferanji which discourages unsafe abortion to save lives of women, and another programme titled Talk Back an interactive programme which tackles gender and human rights issues.

Capital radio also produces jingles and promotions that tackle emerging issues in the society relating to gender and human rights.

We also air Mau a Kumudzi programme, a human rights and developmental programme which encourages women to speak out on challenges they face within the community.

In addition, Wezi Nyirongo is the station’s champion of gender whose role is to lobby the management to balance the number of female and male employees in different departments such as technical department which has four male radio technicians, without female representation.

She also encourages the newsroom team to balance sources ( adding more female voices) in their stories and programming.

The station is now an equal opportunity employer.

Capital radio management acknowledges conflict between professional and family responsibilities and that separation of spouses for long period due to exigencies of duties should be minimised.

Capital radio reviews the gender, HIV and Aids and editorial policies annually to ensure that it remains relevant and responsive to the needs of employees at Capital Radio. This review shall take into account the progression and the impact of the pandemic, developments in scientific and other technologies.

Resource allocations *

Amount local currency (specify) / Amount in Rand
Gender specific allocation
Gender in mainstream projects (please specify)
Amount contributed in cash or in kind by partner organisations (please specify)


Capital Radio has managed to adopt policies on Gender and HIV and AIDS in which gender content in our programming is given a priority.

Capital Radio was recognised by the UNESCO Malawi office for being the champion on gender mainstreaming in line with the adopted policies.


A lack of funding to sustain gender-related programmes. In most cases CFM provides free airtimes for programmes, jingles and promotions as well as free venues for gender sessions.

A lack of expertise on gender mainstreaming on the part of the management and the team, which calls for training sessions.

Results *

Women’s empowerment

Capital fm is currently running a programme which empowers women to have a choice of having a child when their lives are in danger, in a bid to prevent unsafe abortions which claim lives of many women. (Titled Amayi Akuferanji with support from Copua-IPAS).

This follows the passing of the Gender Equality bill in parliament and consequent assenting by the President to become a Law.

Capital fm also produced special programmes for women candidates during the May 204 tripartite elections, in which they were given space to sell their manifesto to the electorate. A number of women featured in the programmes won parliamentary and local government elections.


The deputy speaker of parliament Ester Mcheka Nkhoma Chilenje was among the women featured in the programmes titled 50-50 is possible.

Men for change

Capital fm male staff have been supportive in the drive for change-gender equality and dealing with gender stereotypes. All the departments have become aware of gender mainstreaming and the need to consider women as equal partners at the workplace.


“We believe together We Can.” Andrew Chatepa, Marketing Executive-CFM.

Capacity building*

Women now represent about 40% of the Capital radio workforce.

Furthermore, Capital FM has also implemented a sound gender policy, extending to strict editorial guidelines that prioritise female voices and issues that affect women.

The policies offer equal opportunity for sources as well as journalists and media workers. It is also through GL’s training that increased awareness about gender sensitive reporting has been employed within the newsroom. This has encouraged both female and male media professionals to challenge the gendered norms of reporting and presenting, by covering stories and topics outside of those stereotypical journalistic

Evidence *

Capital radio has 57 full time male employees, and 24 women.

The courses made us think. We learnt that gender is not only a women’s issue but it’s about men too”, says Keshia-Zara Osman, head of programming.

Content *

The COE initiatives have helped to improve our programming, CFM has put a deliberate policy to include women voices in Voxpops, interviews and panel discussions/ debate programmes. This is done by inviting women from all sectors to be part of the panel in our live programmes as well as recorded ones.

Evidence *

We have made strides in having diversified views in our programming; however it remains a challenge sometimes to persuade women sources to be part of our programming. You invite them and they give excuses, or they turn down the invitation last minute” Elvis Howahowa, Host of Sunday Round table Programme-CFM.

Changes within the work place *

Capital fm offers equal opportunities for both male and female. We have two female editors, two male editors and three female managers. This has never been a challenge in adopting gender mainstreaming at the workplace.

Evidence *

Our newsroom colleagues are aware that women content is a MUST, so strive to balance the voices in all news beats as well as current affairs programmes. We also encourage female journalists to host current affairs programmes, which were previously dominated by male counterparts. Steve Dakalira, Head of News-CFM.

Changes in attitudes*

Previously female employees were handled and second class workers, but with the adoption of the policies in the COE process things are improving. Male staff have recognised that female employees have the ability to deliver their work effectively.

Evidence *

The management in collaboration with the gender champion, who plays a role of a confidant, handles or sexual and verbal abuse complaints and disciplinary action is taken.

“We work in a free environment, our male counterparts are aware of the fact that female journalists can also tackle hard beats, such as doing investigative stories, business and the economy as well as covering conflicts” Earlene Chimoyo-Business reporter-Capital radio.

Changes at a policy level that have come about as a result of the COE work

Capital radio management has recognised the importance of gender mainstreaming at workplace, hence introducing a Gender Champion who handles all gender issues at workplace.

Lesson learned and innovation *

1) Capital radio has managed to develop policies that are followed and implemented after adopting the COE process.

2) Capital radio now acknowledges that women are equal partners in development, therefore their voices matter in our programming and news.

3) Members of staff have also realised that sexual harassment is an offence, hence respecting female members of staff at the workplace.

4) Female journalists are also encouraged and motivated to work on hard beats which were previously dominated by males.

Sustainability and replication *

There is a need for more training sessions targeting all members of staff to help in effective implementation of the policies.

There is also need for an effective coordination among media houses to be discussing emerging issues, and how to tackle them holistically.