DECEMBER 3, 2014 By Regina Pratt
Women in the Media Sierra Leone (WIMSAL) last Friday concluded a two-day leadership training workshop at the Harry Yansaneh Hall of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists, Campbell Street in Freetown.
In a brief statement at the opening of the workshop, UNDP programme officer, Hassan Jalloh, said they are developing WIMSAL’s strategic plan into a working document that would advocate for equal opportunities and respect for female journalists and women in the country.
He revealed that the UNDP has designed the strategic plan of the document and are in the process of developing it. He thanked participants for their input during the training.
Asmaa James, president of WIMSAL, said their 2014-2016 strategic development plan aims at growth and commitment of the WIMSAL membership to support the capacity of the organisation.
“There have been some positive strides by female journalists who have made considerable efforts to be at decision-making positions, especially in the electronic media,” she said, adding that the three years strategic plan is geared towards improving access to human rights, education, improved professionalism and opportunities for female journalists.
Madam James said women’s issues would be placed on the agenda in a bid to influence public opinion.
She maintained that communication, advocacy and lobbying skills are some of the challenges WIMSAL is grappling with, and that though efforts are being made to improve on the lives of female journalists, yet more remains to be done.
The WIMSAL president urged members to increase their lobbying power to advocate for women and orphans affected by Ebola, as well as influence the Constitutional Review Committee to look at laws affecting women.
In the area of advocacy, Madam James said WIMSAL should address internal issues, even as they search for a technical expert, noting that there still is a lack of effective communication amongst members.
She urged members to be paying their monthly dues, while new members should cooperate in fundraising activities through development partners.
The participants were trained on strategic and operational plans, measurement and evaluation, organisational development plans, financial management and strategic thinking.
UNDP head of governance, Edward Kamara, gave the opening remarks, while Mr. Ahmed Lahor Jalloh served as consultant. Mass Communication lecturer, Tonia Musa, served as one of the facilitators.