Garowe, December The Media Association of Puntland (MAP) in partnership with the International media support (IMS) has concluded a 2-day gender-sensitive course.
Supported by the EU, the course was held in Garowe from December 21-22, 2022, and was participated by media executives and chief editors operating in media outlets across the Puntland state of Somalia.
The event was aimed at engaging media managers to apply gender sensitivity during their reporting as they address gender inequalities in and through the media.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the course were Puntland’s Minister of women development and family affairs Dr. Naciima Abdiraxman Guuled, the Director General of the Puntland Ministry of Information Eng Mohamed Isse, and MAP’s chair Mohamed Dahir.
Chair Mohamed said ‘‘We were already struggling with the low number of women reporters and them not being in decision-making roles – unfortunately, MAP has also realized that the news stories are too not gender sensitive. The sad reality is that even if the news story is featuring women’s issues there is a high probability that men are being the main source of the very news. Today we are here to discuss and learn how we could tackle those issues’’ Said the MAP’s chair at his opening remarks.
Both the Director General of the Ministry of Information and the Minister of MOWDAFA commended the scheduling of the training, emphasizing that it is greatly needed as Puntland prepares to host the much-awaited and historic one-person-one-vote democratic elections for municipality councilors. Both leaders noted the low percentage of female journalists in newsrooms compared to their male counterparts and asked MAP, media managers, and other stakeholders to keep working to improve women’s representation in the workplace and in news stories.
The event’s chief-guest-of honor, Puntland’s Minister of women development and family affairs, said “This training has come at a time when we will have an election, and girls endure a lot of harassment during the election, both as candidates and as voters. I am especially requesting today, and this is a significant request, that those who are criminals or who are causing difficulties for the girls to be held accountable since the media is a place where those criminals dread being revealed.”
Despite decades of public communication and policy lobbying by civil society, reinforced by foreign aid, women continue to encounter challenges. Women continue to participate in the media at a lesser rate than men, and media goods are not adapted to their needs. Their landscape is not well explored, and their ability to play an active role in gender sensitive promotion is restricted.
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