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SLAJ trains female journalists on gender reporting

May 26, 2015 By Victoria Saffa

With support from the Norwegian Journalists Union, the West African Journalists Association (WAJA), in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), yesterday commenced a three-day training workshop for 25 female journalists on reporting gender issues in the country.

The training was held at Kona Lodge, west of Freetown, and attracted female journalists from Freetown and the provinces.

Director of Ejicom and lead trainer, Hamadou Tidiane Sy, said gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to and differentiating between masculinity and feminity, depending on the context, and it may include biological sex.

He encouraged journalists to focus on the social sciences approach rather than the biological approach in their reportage on gender, adding that the concept involves both men and women, boys and girls, as well as touching on underprivileged groups in society.

He highlighted the social and political issues associated with gender, which involves civil and political rights, access to education, work place, health, land, household relations, culture and traditions.

Mr. Sy noted that a couple of international regimes guide gender relations, including the Convention Against Discrimination in Education, Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Maputo Protocol in Africa.

He urged female journalists to report critical issues such as gender-based violence, sexual harassment in the work place, and access to economic power, among others.

Also, Mrs. Williette James, a lecturer at the Mass Communication Department, Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, urged female journalists to report gender stories, especially issues that affect women and girls.

She advised that reportage on gender issues should include the roles and responsibilities of women, while female journalists should not shy away from reporting political stories.

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