In the pulsating world of media, ever wondered what empowers the women crafting our stories? It’s not just skill; it’s the dance with employment laws, a backstage pass to breaking barriers.
The 2023 Women, Business, and the Law report highlights that a resilient work environment thrives when both genders contribute equally.
The report goes on to elaborate that in situations where laws impede women’s voice and agency or when discrimination occurs in the workplace, their full participation and contribution of talent and skills are likely hindered.
Nevertheless, the report emphasizes that women’s empowerment is not solely a matter of social justice but also a crucial prerequisite for economic development and growth.
The Association of Media Women in Kenya, hosted a webinar on empowering women in the media through understanding employment and business law.
Facilitated by Faith Oloo, Legal Support AMWIK Board, the discussion explored the intricate legal dimensions of employees’ rights, guiding individuals through the journey of navigating unjust termination and revealing the empowerment that emerges from understanding one’s entitlements.
Initiating the conversation, Brian Katana, an associate of the high court in Kenya, pointed out, “Women encounter distinctive challenges, including gender inequality in workplaces.” He further noted, “The recent surge in this discourse underscores the necessity for a more in-depth scrutiny of the legal framework governing employment in the media industry.”
He emphasized that the ongoing discussion not only enhances the quality of media but also fosters inclusivity and diversity, resulting in a broader audience appeal through heightened creativity. This, he said, amplifies women’s representation, introducing diverse perspectives from individuals with varied experiences and enriching the overall content landscape.
In his presentation, Brian highlighted that understanding the complex interplay of employment law is crucial for creating an environment that fosters gender equality.
“Employment laws act as a shield for women, safeguarding them from discrimination, and harassment, and ensuring fair and equal treatment in the workplace. This encompasses protection against unjust labour practices as well.”
“These laws shape the dynamics of a workplace by ensuring that women have equal opportunities in hiring and promotions. From guaranteeing fair pay to fostering avenues for career growth, these legal frameworks play a pivotal role in creating a more equitable and inclusive work environment,” he elucidated.
Questions arose from the members on the laws that are placed in Kenya to advocate for equality and inclusiveness in workplaces.
“Article 27 and 41 of the constitution mandates that everyone is equal before the law and that there’s no room for discrimination. Every person has a fair right to practices in matters of remuneration and favourable working conditions.” Brian Katana emphasized.
Scola Munyao, Managing Partner at Munyao-Kayugira and Co Advocates reiterated these ideas and encouraged companies to implement legal measures, including anti-discrimination laws, to eliminate gender bias in hiring and promotion processes. She emphasized the importance of companies actively endorsing inclusive workplace policies, encompassing aspects like maternity leave, flexible working hours, and robust channels for reporting harassment.
In her closing remarks, Scola emphasized the necessity for media organizations to reassess their practices, fostering an inclusive and equitable environment. She underscored the urgency for governments and industry bodies to play a crucial role in formulating and enforcing laws that uphold gender equality
The consensus reached was that empowering women in the media through comprehension of employment and business law serves as a pathway to a more dynamic and prosperous industry. Consequently, this cultivates equality and propels the industry toward a future where talent knows no gender.
By Priscillah Kaigai-AMWIK Member