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Gender Media Club holds 2-day regional training of journalists on profiling female candidates

Gender Media Club holds 2-day regional training of journalists on profiling female candidates

The Gender Media Club Sierra Leone in collaboration with UN Women and the Independent Media Commission (IMC) has held a two-day training of journalists on profiling of women candidates up to the November 17 general elections. The training for the Eastern Region was held at the Lukay’s Night Club Industrial Development Agency (IDA) Kenema.  (Photo: Participants in training section )

The National Coordinator, Gender Media Club Sierra Leone, Mrs. Williette James said the club was formed in Makeni last October 2011 at a workshop organized by the UN Women. She said UN Women in Sierra Leone need the media as one of its strong allies ahead of the 2012 general elections, wherein several initiatives by UN agencies and the civil society partners are being promoted through the media for increased participation and coverage of women in politics.

According to Mrs. James, the training on Profiling Women Candidates is a key strategy to promote social acceptance of women’s political participation. She was optimistic that after the training, participants would have had a greater understanding of the challenges women face when vying for public positions. “Through this training journalists will also gain knowledge on how to support women’s campaign and make them visible in the media and also engage various culturally appropriate media channels to show case women candidates to the electorates.”

 In his statement the human resource officer who represented the chairman of Kenema council Mr. Morgan said that issues of female participation in politics is on the increase and many organizations are preaching and giving support to women. He admonished all women to give support to their follow women and not to pull them down. He said the media should have the challenge to promote women and have them on board to ensure that the 30% representation is given to women.

Paul Damba, the district electoral officer Kenema district said that journalists should profile women candidates as part of the electoral management process, and that the media should assist to protect the electoral officers and election materials based on what they say and write in the print and electronic media. He said that media is responsible for elections to be credible at national and international levels.

Mohamed Vandi the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) Regional Chairman said the Eastern Region has over 150 practicing journalists and 60 registered journalists of SLAJ Eastern region. He noted that the training came at the right time as elections are around the corner. He applauded the 30% representation recommendation by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report and advised that participants focused on projecting women’s political participation. Mr. Vandi revealed that there are potential women coming up in the council elections and appealed that the men should give the women a chance. He praised the UN Women for providing the funding to the Gender Media Club for implementing the program in the country.

The training is the second in the series of regional trainings organized by the Gender Media Club with support from UN Women.

I K Musa, Kenema

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