Garowe, Thursday 13, 2019: March 8 marks the International Women’s Day, which rejoices the attainments of women in all spheres of life. This year’s theme, “think Equal, Build Smart, innovate for change”, could not have come at a better time. In Puntland, to commemorate the event, MAP joined the global initiative #Move4Women, a practice invented by the Free Press Unlimited (FPU) aimed at highlighting the importance of gender equality, participation & the decision-making of women in and through the media.
The #M4W19 online campaign: On the on eve of the IWD19, from March 6-7, MAP launched an online social media campaign using the hashtag #M4W19 and ”shouts” tailored to show solidarity to female journalists. Members from the media, youth groups, diaspora, celebrities, and the public at large joined the online campaign while taking pictures holding shootout written A4size paper.
The #M4W19 Marching Activity: on the ninth day of MARCH, MAP mobilized members of the Puntland Media fraternity, youth groups and women groups for a marching activity. Seventy (70) men and women in red t-shirts and yellow caps, walked through the main roads of Garowe with the sole aim of showing solidarity to female journalists.
On a special note, MAP would like to sincerely thank all those who participated in the online campaign as well as the marching. The association is grateful to the leadership of it’s secretary general, Naima Mousse who led the organizing task-force for the #M4W19 activities.
The Puntland state organized #IWD19 ceremony, March 09, 2019: The IWD19 was commemorated on the March 9 as March 8 was a holiday (Friday). Given the brief, the Puntland Ministry of Women Development and Family Affairs (MOWDAFA) organized a very unique colorful event in which MAP was invited. MAP’s #M4W19 marcher’s team joined the event shortly after the marching was completed. Part of the chief guests of honors were the Puntland State top officials led by the President H.E Saed Abdulahi Deni. Cabinet officials, members of the civil society groups, media outlets and representatives from the international community participated in the event to commemorate #IWD19.
Representing the Puntland’s media fraternity at the event was the MAP chair, Mohamed Dahir Warsame who was given the first speech of the ceremony. Mohamed thanked MOWDAFA for inviting MAP, and briefed the audience on the status of the Puntland’s female journalists, especially on the working conditions. He gave a thorough background on the inequalities that exist in the sector as well as MAP’s ongoing efforts to narrow the gaps that have negatively impacted female journalists. The chair also announced that the ”Puntland Media Gender Policy” has been finalized and will soon be shared will relevant stakeholders prior to it’s implementation.
”Women’s participation in the media remains lower than males, and the media products are not tailored their landscape is not well researched and their capacity to take an active role in gender sensitive promotion is limited. We are committed to empowering female journalists, in 2018, we revived the Nugaal Female journalists organization (NUFJO), this year we are planning to capacity build the mudug women journalist organization (MUWOJO) Said MAP chair, Mohamed Dahir.
He continued adding, ”we have finalized the Puntland media gender policy, the plan is to meet with MOWDAFA and the Ministry of labor to harmonize state laws were relevant. This gender policy will provide equal opportunity to both men and women journalists especially on subjects such as the wages, career development, maternity & paternity leave” noted the MAP chair at his keynote speech at the #IWD19 event.
Other quotes from the event:
“Today is the day we talk about women’s achievement, the challenges we face, the goals we trying to achieve, our weakness and strengths. I empower women to have confidence in themselves and work hard.” Hon. Amina Osman – Minister of Women Development and Family Affairs (MOWDAFA).
“Puntland women have played a historic role in promoting peace throughout Somali, I’m proud of them especially on the contributions and achievements they have accomplished ’’, i denounce all types of violence against women, my government will not tolerate and will taken action against the culprits who perpetrate such inhuman acts said H,E. Saed Deni.
Women continue to face challenge despite decades of public communication and policy advocacy by the civil society supported by international aid. Women’s participation suffers from the weak policy infrastructure which remains insensitive to gender and also the lack of legally binding articulations for their representation in all levels of governance and even in the media. Women in the media have representation at non-decision making levels only. Female journalists have weak regional networks. Women’s participation in the media remains lower than males, and the media products are not tailored their landscape is not well researched and their capacity to take an active role in gender sensitive promotion is limited.