By Bill W. Cooper
The Female Journalists Association of Liberia (FeJAL) in collaboration with the Government of Liberia with support from the European Union (UN) and the United Nation (UN) Spotlight Initiative has commenced a three-day Sexual Gender Base Violence (SGBV) sensitive reporting online training for over 40 journalists in the country.
Speaking at the opening of the training on Tuesday, the Country Representative from UN Women, Marie Goreth said that the EU, UN Spotlight Initiative is intended to train Liberian journalists in enable them flag the continuous violence being meted against both girls and woman.
According to her, the statistics on SGBV from the Ministry of Gender is very alarming and that it is the Liberian media’s reporting that will make some improvement on how gender issues are covered in order to minimize the issue of SGBV.
She added that another key importance of the training is the issue of the survivor’s confidentiality and protection as well as the protection and wellbeing of the victim’s family; making reference to the recent saga of a 15 year old teenager who was allegedly rape and impregnated by her step-father.
The Gender Minister, Williametta P. Saydee Tarr, lauded the team for the training stating that journalists play a more pivotal in the society and cautioned journalists to be more ethical in their reportage when it comes to SGBV issues in the country.
Minister Tarr urged the participating journalists to acquit themselves with the rules and laws that are on the books for SGBV survivors in order to protect them and their families as well as to boost their self-esteem to report SGBV issues in the country.
Press Union of Liberia president, Charles Coffey, said the issues of SGBV in the country is alarming and is still on the increase in all parts of the country, adding that it is time that the country sees the issues of SGBV as their common enemies and therefore the government should consider it as a national emergency.
He proposed that in order for journalists to buttress government’s effort in the fight against SGBV, its time that the government begin to empower various media institutions in the country stating that media houses are very challenged in the discharge of their duties.
He also urged journalists to understand the SGBV issues in order to be able to protect the survivors and their families.
FeJAL, EU, UN Spotlight Initiative Commence 3-Day SGBV Training For Journalists
By Bill W. Cooper