The overarching theme for our work is captured by our chosen catch phrase: In search of the missing voice: Feminisation of the media and governance.
We have identified four thematic areas for our work:
Media and Gender Justice: We work to sustain awareness of gender equity and equality as critical issues for human rights, good governance and development
Media and Diversity: We promote diversity in the media by advocating for more prominent recognition of women and children's issues, representation of women journalists, and use of diverse media platforms and technology
Media Literacy: We work to enhance media literacy among the public as a means of developing a vibrant,sensitive and quality media and empower women, children and other members of local communities.
Media and ICT: We work to promote the application of ICT in media development and to catalyse innovation in development communication
Access to information is critical for the development of any society. We recognise the disparities in access to ICT between nations and also within countries, most notably between urban and rural populations. As Kenya and other African countries work to reform the ICT sector and expand broadband capacity, media organisations will be searching for better ways to use existing and emerging technologies to reach wider audiences.
For AWC, a key strategic issue is how to take advantage of developments in ICT to promote alternative, interactive and accessible forums for women and children in both rural and urban areas. Our work on ICTs will explore the range of alternatives for linking rural information networks to mainstream media, and connecting more voices from Africa to global dialogue on gender and development issues.
Gender justice is the basic motivation in the push for the human rights of women and children. In this regard, the media has a duty to serve as society's watchdog on gender justice.
We recognize the need to address gender justice with respect to the representation of women in governance, and ensure that legislation and public policies resonate better with their issues and priorities.
We work to sustain awareness of gender equity and equality as critical issues for human rights, good governance and development.
Diversity within the media is reflected in content, as well as the variety of actors, platforms and technologies used.
The media should be a reflection of the diversity that exists within society, and therefore give equal voice and coverage to women and children's issues in a manner that portrays their positive roles and contributions to society.
AWC supports and promotes diversity in the media through the use of diverse media platforms and technology. We also recognise a key challenge which has emerged around the content and voices captured and relayed by the diverse actors.
AWC's efforts in media monitoring and content analysis will generate better understanding about how gender and governance issues are presented and analysed by the media.
People are empowered when they understand how the media works, and can interpret and respond appropriately to the information disseminated through the media.
As consumers of media products, people benefit most when they have the knowledge to critically analyze messages transmitted via the various media houses.
AWC believes that there is still a lot to be done to strengthen community media and promote responsible citizen journalism.
AWC will work with local communities and community media stations to make sure the mainstream media reflects the diversity of voices and interests and that grassroots issues influence national agenda.