In a bid to eradicate Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV), fifty (50) male and female journalists drawn from the media in Mogadishu participated a three-day training on ending Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in the country by building the capacity of journalists on ways to better raise public awareness on SGBV and help eliminate the practice.
The training, jointly organised by the Ministry of Women and Human Rights Development (MoWHRD) and the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) in partnership with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), was designed to build the skills and knowledge of local journalists on reporting SGBV and to increase the quality and amount of well-informed media coverage of SGBV issues by sensitising media professional on the issues and challenges faced in coverage, as well as providing them with available resources.
Deq Sulieman Yusuf, Director General of MoWHRD, expressed serious concerns about the increasing number of SGBV cases in the country and urged the media to work hard to create awareness on the practice to eliminate it, while reiterating that the media is one of the most important socializing influences in people’s lives.
Yusuf reminded journalists about the power of words, saying journalists must be careful with how they use words in informing the public, stating that words can stigmatize people and are hard to remove. Though alleged perpetrators must be named and shamed, journalists must try to get the facts of any SBGV case before reporting, he added.
In his opening remarks, NUSOJ Secretary General Omar Faruk Osman said journalists have a role to play in giving well informed and balanced reporting to the public. “Journalists must lead a campaign on SGBV through increased reportage to eliminate the practice because the work of the media can bring people together to put an end to all forms of discrimination and negative stereotypes against women and girls”.
Osman cautioned journalists to stop what he referred to as hiding the truth to rather be fair, balanced and objective in reporting SGBV as they are sensitive issues and therefore sensitive to report on. He expressed hope that the journalists after the training will play a pivotal role in the efforts aimed at eradicating SGBV.
Participants at the training said the training was timely noting that incidences of SBGV occur frequently. The training, which is first of series of trainings, was facilitated by veteran former BBC journalist Yusuf Hassan Isaq.