WMDF is a media based women's development institution founded in 2009 and legally registered as a Trust with the Zimbabwe deeds office on 10 August 2010. Our work focuses mainly on information access, sharing and exchange especially for the benefit of women. We help to ensure access to development, (socio-economic, cultural, human rights and governance and democratic) news for women through, gendered news coverage, capacitation of female journalists to better cover stories that pertain to women's empowerment as well as facilitating the use of alternative and gender friendly mass media platforms.
WMDF's role is to facilitate platforms that promote positive discourses in the society about women and among women, based on what they are already doing or can start doing to improve the quality of their lives and of those in the communities they live in. Our undertaking is therefore to ensure the widest possible access to developmental and empowerment focused information by women regionally and nationally using the skills of well trained, better resourced and strategically networked female journalists who together form a core group of passionate story tellers of women's development stories.
Our methods of such engagement include alternative dialogue methods like news gathering and dissemination, public and community meetings or interactions, social media advocacy & engagement, community radio, media monitoring, female journalists' networks, theatre, music, art and research among other things. This is done so as to strengthen the means by which women in rural and urban centres access and share information on social transformation to better themselves and their communities.
We believe education is the most effective empowerment tool for any community, especially vulnerable and marginalised groups like women who are among the most vulnerable and poverty stricken in communities world over. In this regard, the media has proven to be one of the most attractive, cheapest and widest reaching facilitators of such education and information dissemination, giving hope for the improvement in the socio-economic statuses of women as well as improving their quality of life. Access to such development information also increases knowledge on basic human rights and improves the ability by women to know and take steps towards claiming these for themselves and their communities.
We also believe as stated by Leon Hartwell (2014) "the media have an imperative role to play in shaping the societies in which they exist". Therefore, if media often portray women negatively, and as none contributors in the country's economy then society's attitudes will be shaped in such a way that it does not respect women, neither depend on, trust nor even consider them as key players in development initiatives.