Practising journalists from the four regions of the country have attended a 3-day experiencing sharing workshop in Makeni from October 12 to 14 at the Pastoral Centre.
The aim of the workshop is for journalists to better understand how the UN Women operates and also to share some of the experiences of female journalists in the execution of their duties especially during electioneering process.
In her opening remarks, UN Women programme officer, Melrose Kargbo said the workshop was carefully planned as the media is very critical in sharing the right information to the people and better understands the best way to advocate for gender equality in Sierra Leone.
Giving an overview of the UN Women programme in Sierra Leone, Kargbo said it was started in July 2010 when four UN entities merged together but not much has been achieved in promoting gender equality because women who formed the bulk of the population are not actively involved in developmental issues especially empowerment.
"If we are talking about development, we need the capacity for the desired goal to ensure that the issue of gender empowerment is forged ahead," she said as she explained the group's five semantic areas which include women voices leadership and political participation, any violence against women, women economic empowerment, women's peace and security and mainstreaming national issues into the budget.
SLAJ Northern Region chairman Stanley Bangura said there are issues bordering around women and children that should be addressed and the media is very important in the area of development in all sectors of the country.
Bangura called on all media practitioners to address issues on women especially vulnerable women after commending the UN Women for organizing such an experience sharing workshop.
A lecturer at the Mass Communication Department of Fourah Bay College, Mrs. Williette James, presented a paper on gender reporting in which she gave an insight into the Stone Age period in which women and men were on fairly equal terms owning and having access to lands.
She said it was not so during the Agricultural period as women became foreigners with no rights to their children or even access to land.
Speaking on the paper, emerging gender issues, Mrs. James highlighted some issues that affect women and participants were grouped to discuss on these issues.
IMC commissioner Augustine Garmoh also presented a paper on media ethics highlighting some of the ethics, positivism, accuracy, certainty and truthfulness, fairness and balanced reportage and credibility.