In a recent interview, Brenda Wairimu spoke on the hardships women endure in the Kenyan film and TV industry just to get by.
It is no secret that numerous complaints regarding hostility, gender bias, adverse terms, working conditions and sexual harassment have been a prevailing trend in the much sought after industry.
As Warimu revealed, many girls and women in the industry who are victims of sexual assault and harassment cower due to fear over losing jobs and opportunities.
“It’s a very present evil, and sometimes we are forced to put our heads down and take it just so we can continue to put food on the table,” she expressed
Brenda asserted that the perpetrators were slowly and surely going to be outed in due time for what they put girls and women through, adding that eventually justice will be served.
Allegations of sexual harassment continue to surface, with stories of women who claim to have suffered at the hands of famous and influential people involved in Kenyan productions, including stars in the film and Tv industry.
Big names including actor Nick Mutuma have had to come out to claim their innocence after facing allegations of assault and harassment, attracting the wrath of Kenyans on social media.
Furthermore, there are reportedly very few women in leadership positions in the media, and women journalists suffer various atrocities from sexual harassment to being deemed unfit for ‘manly’ journalistic assignments.
A report by the Media Council of Kenya assessing the gender issue in the Kenyan media adds that stereotypes in the media tend to undervalue women as a whole and diminish them to sexual objects and passive human beings.
An IAWRT article by Florence Dallu referenced an expose’ that uncovered the full extent of how pervasive sexual harassment has become in Kenyan newsrooms and in the media industry generally.
“The story revealed accounts from Kenyan female journalists about how their bosses were demanding sexual favours in return for professional assistance or better working conditions.” she said
Amina Abdi, TV show host of NTV’s The Trend, recently narrated how she religiously wore a waist trainer after her son’s birth aimed at camouflaging her body size after giving birth.
The strain and discomfort of the tight waist trainer posed a health risk. It caused her to be rushed to the Emergency Room after fainting.
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“I was so painful, people lie they just show you this beautiful amazing life,” she added.
In similar regard, Amina and Brenda’s experiences came shortly after State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena was trolled over her recent weight gain.
Many women who appear on screen have to deal with the added pressure of conforming to society’s beauty standards.