The second was simultaneously held at the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) involving an additional 19 journalists from urban and rural communities. Both trainings were organized by LIWOMAC with support from the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) under the project “Fostering Women Inclusion, Gender Equality and Political Participation through Media in Liberia.”
WHY THE TRAINING?
Stories about women and children barely make the headlines of major newspapers or radio stations. If and when they do, the stories are usually about rape and other violent crimes against women. Even at that, many journalists struggle to tell these stories as they do not understand the complexities of many of the issues. Over the years LIWOMAC has been working with journalists to help them understand the issues and properly tell relevant and needed stories about women and children. This is extremely important during critical periods in Liberia’s history like now when the country is struggling to recover from the disastrous Ebola crisis. LIWOMAC believes that journalists must recognize the importance of flagging issues related to women and children during this period and have the relevant skills to do so, thus the trainings.
Facilitators & Topics Discussed
Topics covered during the two five-day training sessions included Women’s Rights, Principles in the Context of Development and Policy Making, Introduction to Gender, Child Rights and Post-Ebola Recovery, Gender Analysis of the Ebola Crisis Management, Introduction to Gender and Communication Development and Media, among others.
Three persons facilitated sessions on the various topics. Some key child protection issues in post-Ebola recovery to take into consideration while reporting, according to the facilitators, are lack of access to education, child labor, stigmatization/discrimination, orphans, trafficking, adoption, lack of shelter/care, early marriage, prostitution, lack of medical services and drug abuse.
Many participants described the sessions as being useful and promised to use the knowledge to raise awareness through their reportage. There were also practical sessions on story development, as well as field assignments with reporters collecting elements to produce a number of stories.
Certificates Awarded After Workshop
Participants received certificates for successfully completing the five day sessions. Press Union of Liberia’s President, Kamara Abdullai Kamara was amongst those who handed out the certificates.
LIWOMAC’s President, Madam T. Estella Nelson stressed the importance of journalists having a broader knowledge about their environment. “Talking about recovery, we have a role to play as journalists. We are at a point where people have come to respect the media. Where we go after Ebola, we still have a lot to do as journalists.” She said.