Connect with us
Advertisement

Tithes and offerings or fights and sufferings!


Many Christians struggle with the issue of tithing. It is perhaps one of the most divisive issues in the modern Church world, and perhaps unnecessarily so. But then again, money is always a touchy subject. It might be a fair conclusion to say that the issue of tithing is so divisive that the Church world is split in half over it; half for it and half against it.


And, a sizeable number in both camps have no settled stand. Both sides have potent scriptural basis for their doctrinal position. If circumcision was a hot potato in the early Church, tithing is our modern day equivalent.


Money will always be an emotional subject. It is inherently so. This powder keg is not helped by the fact that in some churches giving is over-emphasized. I've been born again for twenty years. And I can confidently say that I have heard more sermons on tithing than on any other subject. Yes, sir!


The sermons came and still come in different flavors; from impassioned, borderline begging pleas, to threats of curses, to manipulation, and whatever else could possibly tug at one's heartstrings. All too often it's been thinly veiled emotional and spiritual blackmail! I wouldn't be entirely too surprised if I got to hear one day that a man of the cloth preached on the tithe gun cocked and pointed at the congregation! It's that serious.


 Much has been made of tithing and offering, and rightfully so. But at times the overemphasis has not helped matters, especially if not clearly presented and taught without emotion and an attempt to place the hearer under duress.


At the same time, many Christians refuse to submit to the biblical exhortations about making offerings to the Lord. Tithing/giving is intended to be a joy and a blessing. Sadly, that is all too often not the case in the Church today. But why is the subject of the tithe so divisive? Why does it elicit such passionate emotions, whether for or against it? What is the tithe?


The first biblical mention of tithing is found in Genesis 14. After four Mesopotamian kings had taken Lot captive, Abraham attacked them and recovered all the booty. After his victory, the king of Sodom came out to meet him, and so did Melchizedek, an enigmatic priest of God mentioned once here in Genesis and in only two other places in the Bible.


 Melchizedek blessed Abraham, and then Abraham “gave him a tenth of everything” (Genesis 14:20). This Melchizedek is mentioned as a priest long before priesthood was introduced or even understood. Who instituted his priesthood? Through what means? What liturgical order did he follow? Encoded in what?


These questions are not easy to answer. The text does not tell us whether Abraham had ever tithed before, or ever tithed afterwards. Perhaps it was a custom of his culture. Perhaps not. Nothing can be conclusively inferred from the text.

Abraham was generous, and gave the rest of his booty to the king of Sodom (verses 23-24). Abraham kept all of God’s laws that were relevant in his day (Genesis 26:5), but Genesis does not tell us whether tithing was a law in Abraham’s day.


And unsurprisingly so. In Abraham's day there was no written legal code. It was the dispensation of conscience following a patriarchal tradition of handing over revealed divine instructions from one generation to another. Many of God’s decrees and requirements were built around the nation of Israel and the Levitical priesthood and tabernacle.

Abraham could not have kept such decrees and laws. He may have tithed regularly, but we cannot prove it. Abraham lived near the great trees of Mamre the Amorite (Genesis 14:13) at Hebron (Genesis 13:18). Hebron is about 15 miles south of Jerusalem.


The Genesis account says Abraham pursued Kedorlaomer north “as far as Dan” (Genesis 14:14), which is about 100 miles north of Jerusalem. When Abraham and his men caught up with Kedorlaomer at Dan, Abraham divided his men and attacked during the night, giving chase as far north as Hobah (north of Damascus) which is 30 miles north of Dan (Genesis 14:15-16). Abraham’s pursuit took him about 145 miles north of his home in Hebron.


Following his victory over Kedorlaomer, Melchizedek came out to meet Abraham in King’s Valley (to the east of Jerusalem) as he returned from Hobah (Genesis 14:17-18, Hebrews 7:1). Abraham’s home in Hebron was still another 15 miles to the south of King’s Valley.

Unless Abraham carried his household possessions with him to Dan and back (about 290 miles round trip), Abraham gave to Melchizedek only out of the spoils – plunder he carried back from his victory over Kedorlaomer (Hebrews 7:2,4). In that sense, it was Kedorlaomer, the enemy, who paid the tithe! I'll give you a minute to pick your jaw off the floor. There are important elements to consider in the story of Abraham's victory over Kedorlaomer.


A map in my Bible suggests the location for Sodom and Gomorrah near Zoar (Genesis 13:10), south east of the Dead Sea, which is about 50 miles from Hebron where Abraham lived. News was spread by word of mouth. It took time for word of Kedorlaomer's conquest of Sodom and Gomorrah to reach Abraham in Hebron. It took time for Abraham to assemble an army of 318 trained men from his household (Genesis 14:14).


All the while, Kedorlaomer was making his way north with Lot, his family, and the plunder of Sodom and Gomorrah, presumably making his way northward in the plains area east of the Jordan River, Dead Sea and Mt. Seir.


The mileage figures I used in the paragraph above, assume Abraham and his men headed due north from Hebron, on the west side of the Jordan River and Dead sea, converging on Kedorlaomer at Dan. If Abraham turned south from Hebron and went around the south end of the Dead Sea, through Zoar and Sodom and Gomorrah, it would be necessary to add at least 80 miles to the round trip figure above.


My point with all the discussion of mileage and geography, is that a small army of 318 men, in pursuit of a powerful army with a substantial 'head start', must travel light. I assume Abraham and his men pursued Kedorlaomer on foot, and carried only swords and shields, minimal food and water. A 'light infantry' going off to war, does NOT carry their household possessions with them, their silver and gold, nor did they drive their flocks and heards before them when in pursuit of Kedorlaomer.


Undoubtedly Abraham and his men ran in marathon-like fashion to catch up with Kedorlaomer. Their northward pursuit was over 115 miles of hilly terrain west of the Jordan and Dead Sea. If they turned south and followed Kedorlaomer's tracks from Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham and his men would have run nearly 200 miles before catching up with Kedorlaomer.

That Abraham's home was still 15-20 miles south of when he met up with Melchizedek in the King's Valley, shows a clear distinction between giving a tenth out of the plunder of war that Abraham brought back with him from Dan, and Abraham's personal wealth and income which remained at Abraham's household in Hebron. Interestingly, Genesis 13 says Abraham was already wealthy with silver, gold, and livestock, before he even moved to Hebron.


It's important to highlight that Abraham did NOT tithe out of his income. That's an incontestable fact. There is a distinct difference between Abraham's one time voluntary thanksgiving offering out of the plunders of war, and what was later instituted by the Law of Moses as the ongoing tithe for the Levitical priesthood.


Yes, later, when the tithe was incorporated into the Law, one was to tithe from their increase. But, in Abraham's case, what he gave the tithe from was NOT his income or his increase. It was from the plunders of war. To say that Abraham gave the tithe from his wealth would be a gross violation of clearly stated scriptural fact.


I believe that difference is the reason the NIV Bible translates the word "ma'aser" (Strong's Reference #4643) in Genesis 14:20 as "tenth" and not "tithe". The next mention of tithing is in Genesis 28:20-22. Jacob had a supernatural dream at Luz, which he later renamed Bethel. In the morning, Jacob vowed to give a tithe if God helped him during his journey.

He was trying to make a bargain with God. He wanted special help, and in return for that help, he was willing to worship God, and to tithe as a part of that worship. It is not clearly stated WHEN and HOW Jacob did finally honor his vow. What we have in the text is only a promise, and a conditional one at that.


The Genesis account goes on to show that Jacob did in fact go on to prosper in his journey and during his sojourn with Laban. So we can safely conclude that he did honor his promise and redeemed his tithe. Tithing may have been part of the common worship practices of that time and culture, or it may have been an extra-special vow for those who desperately desired divine help. This has to be the case because tithing was not coded into any written law.


Jacob had to have learned it from his grandfather, Abraham, or his father, Isaac. If that be the case, then perhaps we won't be too far off to truth to assume that tithing was a known practice in Jacob's day. It goes without saying that tithing is an Old Testament concept. But I want to go a bit further and say that tithing was, and is, a spiritual or revelational concept.


The tithe was a requirement of the Law in which the Israelites were to give 10 percent of the crops they grew and the livestock they raised to the tabernacle/temple (Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:26; Deuteronomy 14:24; 2 Chronicles 31:5). In fact, the Old Testament Law required multiple tithes—one for the Levites, one for the use of the temple and the feasts, and one for the poor of the land—which would have pushed the total to around 23.3 percent! Some understand the Old Testament tithe as a method of taxation to provide for the needs of the priests and Levites in the sacrificial system. That makes perfect sense.


The New Testament nowhere explicitly commands, or even recommends, that Christians submit to a legalistic tithe system. The New Testament nowhere designates a percentage of income a person should set aside, but only says gifts should be “in keeping with income” (1 Corinthians 16:2). Some in the Christian church have taken the 10 percent figure from the Old Testament tithe and applied it as a “recommended minimum” for Christians in their giving. However, silence on a matter is never to be interpreted to mean license on a matter.


Silence is not license. Some objections to the tithe is that it cannot possibly be applicable to us since there is no temple to which the tithe is to be taken, nor is the Levitical priesthood in existence since we, the Church, are now ALL become the priesthood. In other words, since there are no full time priests in our day and every believer is a priest, of necessity, the requirement to support priests is null and void.


This argument sounds potent on face value. But it conveniently omits the fact that even though every believer is a priest, there are still those God has set aside from amongst the rest to serve the rest. Ephesians 4:11-12 KJV [11] And he gave SOME, apostles; and SOME, prophets; and SOME, evangelists; and SOME, pastors and teachers; [12] For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ… It is my humble submission that it is these SOME who presently stand as "priests among priests."


Just as Israel was required to take care of the Levites, so is the modern Church required to take care of these "some" whose entire lives may be dedicated to ministering to the saints. I find the argument that we shouldn't tithe to support Churches and Pastors as decidedly unconvincing since a greater part of its premise is that, as we are now all priests, there are no "special" priests to receive our tithes.


 A thorough examination of the totality of the New Testament punches holes in this argument. Paul's writings clearly show that there is still need to take care of those set apart for ministry, just as the Old Testament Levites were being taken care of.


The argument that we are all the same also doesn't hold in the evidence of New Testament hermeneutics or exegesis. While we must desist from categorizing believers into classes or even perhaps shy away from severing the Body of Christ into clergy and laity, it still is vividly clear that there are those set apart, distinctly so, from the rest of the Church. 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 KJV [12] And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; [13]

And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves. Could it be any clearer than this? If we are all the same, then who are these who are to be "known?" Who are these who "labor" if we are all laborers? Who are these who are "over you" in the Lord if we are all on the same footing? Who are these who are to be "esteemed very highly in love for their works' sake?"


Clearly, in my opinion, these are the modern day Levites! These are the ones who in our times are to receive the tithes. These are the full time Pastors/Bishops whose entire lives, like those of the Levites, are dedicated to the service of the Lord. Someone might say, "I hear you on that point, but what about the storehouse that Malachi spoke of? The temple system has been abolished, so there is no temple to take them to. Moreover, we, the Church, are now the temple!" This sounds like a fair question. However, we cannot separate the Levites from the temple.


Tithes were taken to the temple, yes; but they were received by the Levites. So, following from my earlier argument, where are the modern day Levites to be found? Why, at Church of course! But, you say, we are the Church! The temple is no longer a building! Correct. It is not. But there are still physical buildings we gather at where the Pastors minister to us as the Old Testament Levites ministered to Israel.


 Although people are THE Church, we call the buildings where we worship "churches." Another objection from some is that the early Church actually met in homes and there were no recognized and institutionalized buildings serving as churches. Given that, we should not tithe because there are no temples. Again, while there is truth to this argument, it's not the whole truth.


The Book of Acts tells us that the believers habitually gathered at Solomon's Porch at Herod's Temple. This was their meeting place for corporate worship and to receive teaching. They were not at anybody's house! Moreover, take the in-gathering of 3,000 souls after Peter's sermon in Acts 2. Whose house would accommodate such a number?


Later on, 5,000 more men were added to the Church! Yes, there perhaps were multiple "cell" groups in Jerusalem, but there clearly was a massive Jerusalem Church led by the apostles. Again, I cannot be convinced that Paul's letters to Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, etc, were written to circulated around homes! Can you imagine Paul's letter "To The Church In Gaborone," and it's actually written to be read around multiple homes? I receive it and read it to my cell group in Broadhurst, then I pass it on to be read to another cell group in Maru a Pula and I tell them that after reading it, they must ensure that they pass it on to the cell group leader in Extension 9! I'm tempted to write "LOL!"


These were not chain letters! They were addressed to local assemblies that gathered in specific locations for corporate worship under pastoral leadership. There might have been "cell" groups meeting in various homes in those cities, but it cannot possibly be plausible to imagine that Paul's epistles were written to any other addressee except major, central assemblies in those places. It cannot be otherwise. So then, these would be the "temples" or "storehouses" of those cities and the Pastors therein would be the "Levites" who received tithes.

Continue Reading

Opinions

Botswana to Become a Vaccinated Nation: Pandemic Anxiety Over?

30th March 2021

OSCAR MOTSUMI

This is a question that should seriously exercise the mind of every Botswana citizen and every science researcher, every health worker and every political leader political.

The Covid-19 currently defines our lives and poses a direct threat to every aspect and every part of national safety, security and general well-being. This disease has become a normative part of human life throughout the world.

The first part of the struggle against the murderous depredation of this disease was to protect personal life through restrictive health injunctions and protocols; the worst possibly being human isolation and masks that hid our sorrows and lamentations through thin veils. We suffered that humiliation with grace and I believe as a nation we did a great job.

Now the vaccines are here, ushering us into the second phase of this war against the plague; and we are asking ourselves, is this science-driven fight against Covid-19 spell the end of pandemic anxiety? Is the health nightmare coming to an end? What happy lives lie ahead? Is this the time for celebration or caution? As the Non State Actors, we have being struggling with these questions for months.

We have published our thoughts and feelings, and our research reviews and thorough reading of both the local and international impacts of this rampaging viral invasion in local newspapers and social media platforms.

More significantly, we have successfully organised workshops about the impact of the pandemic on society and the economy and the last workshop invited a panel of health experts, professionals, and public administers to advance this social dialogue as part of our commitment to the tripartite engagement we enjoy working with Government of Botswana, Civil Society and Development partners. These workshops are virtual and open to all Batswana, foreign diplomatic missions based in Gaborone, UN agencies located in Gaborone and international academic researchers and professional health experts and specialists.

The mark of Covid-19 on our nation is a painful one, a tragedy shared by the entire human race, but still a contextually painful experience. Our response is fraught with grave difficulties; limited resources, limited time, and the urgency to not only save lives but also avert economic ruin and a bleak future for all who survive. Several vaccines are already in the  market.

Parts of the world are already doing the best they can to trunk the pestilential march of this disease by rolling out mass-vaccinations campaigns that promise to evict this health menace and nightmare from their public lives. Botswana, like much of Africa, is still up in the disreputable, and, unenviable, preventative social melee of masked interactions, metered distances, contactless commerce.

We remain very much at the mercy of a marauding virus that daily runs amuck with earth shattering implications for the economy and human lives. And the battle against both infections and transmissions is proving to be difficult, in terms of finance, institutional capacities and resource mobilization. How are we prepared as government, and as citizens, to embrace the impending mass-vaccinations? What are the chances of us  succeeding at this last-ditch effort to defeat the virus? What are the most pressing obstacles?

Does the work of vaccines spell an end to the pandemic anxieties?

Our panellists addressed the current state of mass-vaccination preparedness at the Botswana national level. What resources are available? What are the financial, institutional and administrative operational challenges (costs and supply chains, delivery, distribution, administering the vaccine on time, surveillance and security of vaccines?) What is being done to overcome them, or what can be done to overcome them? What do public assessments of preparedness tell us at the local community levels? How strong is the political will and direction? How long can we expect the whole exercise to last? At what point should we start seeing tangible results of the mass-vaccination campaign?

They also addressed the challenges of the anticipated emerging Vaccinated Society. How to fight the myths of vaccines and the superstitions about histories of human immunizations? What exactly is being done to grow robust local confidence in the science of vaccinations and the vaccines themselves? More significantly, how to square these campaigns vis-vis personal rights, moral/religious obligations?

What messages are being sent out in these regards and how are Batswana responding? What about issues of justice and equality? Will we get the necessary vaccines to everyone who wants them? What is being done to ensure no deserving person is left behind?

They also addressed issues of health data. To accomplish this mass-vaccination campaign and do everything right we need accurate and complete data. Poor data already makes it very hard to just cope with the disease. What is being done to improve data for the mass-vaccination campaign? How is this data being collected, aggregated and prepared for real life situation/applications throughout Botswana in the coming campaign?

We know in America, for example, general reporting and treatment of health data at the beginning of vaccinations was so poor, so chaotic and so scattered mainstream newspapers like The Atlantic, Washington Post and the New York Times had to step in, working very closely with civil society organizations, to rescue the situation. What data-related issues are still problematic in Botswana?

To be specific, what kind of Covid-19 data is being taken now to ready the whole country for an effective and efficient mass-vaccination program?

Batswana must be made aware that the  end part of vaccination will just mark the beginning of a long journey to health recovery and national redemption; that in many ways Covid-19 vaccination is just another step toward the many efforts in abeyance to fight this health pandemic, the road ahead is still long and painful.

For this purpose, and to highlight the significance of this observation we tasked our panellists with  the arduous imperative of  analysing the impact of mass-vaccination on society and the economy alongside the pressing issues of post-Covid-19 national health surveillance and rehabilitation programs.

Research suggests the aftermath of Covid-19 vaccination is going to be just as difficult and uncertain world as the present reality in many ways, and that caution should prevail over celebration, at least for a long time. The disease itself is projected to linger around for some time after all these mass-vaccination campaigns unless an effort is made to vaccinate everyone to the last reported case, every nation succeeds beyond herd immunity, and cure is found for Covid-19 disease. Many people are going to continue in need of medications, psychological and psychiatric services and therapy.

Is Botswana ready for this long holdout? If not, what path should we take going into the future? The Second concern is , are we going to have a single, trusted national agency charged with the  mandate to set standards for our national health data system, now that we know how real bad pandemics can be, and the value of data in quickly responding to them and mitigating impact? Finally, what is being done to curate a short history of this pandemic? A national museum of health and medicine or a Public Health Institute  in Botswana is overdue.

If we are to create strong sets of data policies and data quality standards for fighting future health pandemics it is critical that they find ideological and moral foundations in the artistic imagery and photography of the present human experience…context is essential to fighting such diseases, and to be prepared we must learn from every tragic health incident.

Our panellists answered most of these questions with distinguished intellectual clarity. We wish Batswana to join us in our second Mass-vaccination workshop.

*Oscar Motsumi: Email:oscar.motsumi@gmail.com

Continue Reading

Opinions

The women you see in the news matter. Here’s why

9th March 2021
Jane Godia

Jane Godia

Today is International Women’s Day – it’s a moment to think about how much better our news diet could be if inequities were eliminated. In 1995, when the curtains fell in one of the largest meetings that have ever brought women together to discuss women in development, it was noted that women and media remain key to development.

Twenty-six years later, the relevant “Article J” of the Beijing Platform for Action, remains unfulfilled. Its two strategic objectives with regard to Women and Media have not been met. They are
Increase the participation and access of women to expression and decision-making in and through the media and new technologies of communication

Promote a balanced and non-stereotyped portrayal of women in the media.

Today, as we mark International Women’s Day, it’s an indictment on both media owners and civil society that women remain on the periphery of news-making. They cannot claim equal space in either the structures of newsrooms or in the content produced, be that as sources of news or as the subjects of reports. Indeed, the latest figures from WAN-IFRA’s Women in News Programme show just one in five voices in news belong to women*, be they as sources, as the author or as the main character of the news report.

Some progress was evident several years back, with stand-out women being named as chief executive officers, editors in chief, managing editors and executive editors. But these gains appear short lived in most media organisations. Excitement has turned to frustration as one-step forward has been replaced with three steps backwards. In Africa, the problem is acute. The decision-making tables of media organisations remain deprived of women and where there are women, they are surrounded by men.

Few women have followed in the footsteps of Esther Kamweru, the first woman managing editor in Kenya, and indeed sub-Saharan Africa. Today’s standout women editors include Pamela Makotsi-Sittoni (Nation Media Group, Kenya), Barbara Kaija (New Vision, Uganda), Mary Mbewe (Daily Nation, Zambia), Margaret Vuchiri (The Monitor, Uganda), Joyce Shebe (Clouds, Tanzania), Tryphinah Dongwana (Weekend Post, Botswana), Joyce Mhaville (Independent Television -ITV, Tanzania) and Tuma Abdallah (Standard Newspapers,Tanzania). But they remain an exception.

The lack of balance between women and men at the table of decision making has a rollback effect on the content that is produced. A table dominated by men typically makes decisions that benefit men.

So today, International Women’s Day is a grim reminder that things are not rosy in the news business. Achieving gender balance in news and in the structure of media organisations remains a challenge. Unmet, it sees more than half of the population in our countries suffer the consequences of bias, discrimination and sexism.

The business of ignoring the other half of the population can no longer be treated as normal. It’s time that media leaders grasp the challenge, not only because it is the right thing to do, but because it also makes a whole lot of business sense: start covering women, give them space and a voice in news-making and propel them to all levels of decision making within your organisation.

We can no longer afford to imagine that it’s only men who make and sell the news and bring in the shillings to fund the media business. Women too are worthy newsmakers. In all of our societies, there are women holding decision making positions and who are now experts in once male-only domains such as engineers, doctors, scientists and researchers.

They can be deliberately picked out to share their perspectives and expertise and bring balance to the profile of experts quoted on our news pages. Media is the prism through which society sees itself and women are an untapped audience. So, as we celebrate International Women’s Day, let us embrace diversity, which yields better news content and business products, and in so doing eliminate sexism. We know that actions and attitudes that discriminate against people based on their gender is bad for business.

As media, the challenge is ours. We need to consciously embrace and reach the commitments made 26 years ago when the Beijing Platform for Action was signed globally. As the news consuming public, you have a role to play too. Hold your news organization to account and make sure they deliver balanced news that reflects the voices of all of society.

Jane Godia is a gender development and media expert who serves as the Africa Director of Women in News programme.  
WOMEN IN NEWS is WAN-IFRA’s ground-breaking programme to increase women’s leadership and voices in the news. It does so by equipping women journalists and editors with the skills, strategies, and support networks to take on greater leadership positions within their media. www.womeninnews.org

Jane Godia, Director, Africa, Women in News

Continue Reading

Opinions

Why is the media so afraid to talk about sexual harassment?

9th March 2021

MELANIE WALKER

The eve of International Women’s Day presents an opportunity for us to think about gender equality and the long and often frustrating march toward societies that are truly equal.

As media, we are uniquely placed to drive forward this reflection and discussion. But while focusing on the challenges of gender in society, we owe it to our staff and the communities we serve to also take a hard look at the obstacles within our own organisations.

I’m talking specifically about the scourge of sexual harassment. It’s likely to have happened in your newsroom. It has likely happened to a member of your team. It happens to all genders but is disproportionately directed at women. It happens in every industry, regardless of country, culture or context. This is because sexual harassment is driven by power, not sex. Wherever you have imbalances in power, you have individuals who are at risk of sexual harassment, and those who abuse this power.

I’ve been sexually harassed. The many journalists and editors, friends and family members who I have spoken to over the years on this subject have also been harassed. Yet it is still hard for leaders to recognize that this could be happening within their newsrooms and boardrooms. Why does it continue to be such a taboo?

Counting the cost of sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is, simply put, bad for business. It can harm your corporate reputation. It is a drain on the productivity of staff and managers. Maintaining and building trust in your brand is an absolute imperative for media organisations globally. If and when a case gets out of control or is badly handled – this can directly impact your bottom line.

It is for this reason that WAN-IFRA Women in News has put eliminating sexual harassment as a top priority in our work around gender equality in the media sector. This might seem at odds with the current climate where social interactions are fewer and remote work scenarios are in place in many newsrooms and businesses. But one only needs to tune into the news to know that the abuse of power, manifested as verbal, physical or online harassment, is alive and well.

Preliminary results from an ongoing Women in News research study into the issue of sexual harassment polling hundreds of journalists in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia indicate that more than 1 in 3 women media professionals have been physically harassed, and just under 50% have been verbally harassed. Just over 15% of men in African newsrooms reported being physically harassed, and slightly less than 1 in 4 reports being verbally harassed. The numbers for male media professionals in Southeast Asia are slightly higher than a quarter on both forms of harassment.

The first step in confronting sexual harassment is to talk about it. We need to strip away the stigma and discomfort around having open conversations about what sexual harassment is and isn’t. Media managers, it is entirely in your power to create dynamics in your own teams that are free from sexual harassment.

Publishers and CEOs, you set the organisational culture in your media company.

By being vocal in recognising that it happens everywhere, and communicating to your employees that you will not tolerate sexual harassment of any kind, you send a powerful message to your teams, and publicly. With these actions, you will help us overcome the legacy of silence around this topic, and in doing so take an important first step to create media environments that truly embrace equality.

Melanie Walker is Executive Director of Media Development of the World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA). She is a creator of Women in News, WAN-IFRA’s ground-breaking programme to increase women’s leadership and voices in the news. It does so by equipping women journalists and editors with the skills, strategies, and support networks to take on greater leadership positions within their media. www.womeninnews.org

Continue Reading
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!